Is Domain Call A Google Ranking Factor?

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Keep in mind the early days of the web?

You could spend all day talking with your friends on AOL messenger while you played solitaire on Yahoo video games. And after that your mom got the phone to telephone, and you were begun the web. Great times.

In those days, if you were doing some shopping, there was a great chance you were doing it on a site with an exact match domain (EMD). For example, if you needed a pet collar, you ‘d most likely wind up on a site with an address like

In those primitive days of search engine optimization, it was common for companies to put their precise target keyword phrase right in their domain URL.

Sadly (or maybe fortunately, depending upon how you feel about EMDs), scammers and bad actors benefited from this, took up a number of these domains, and linked them to low-quality websites.

So, what holds true today? Does your domain name have an influence on search results page?

Let’s take a better take a look at the debate.

[Download:] The Total Google Ranking Aspects Guide

The Claim: Is Domain Call A Ranking Element?

Having a specific match domain utilized to be a huge offer.

In 2010, sold for $49.7 million: still the most expensive domain name purchase of perpetuity. So clearly, somebody valued domains with that keyword.

It was (and sometimes still is) typical for people in the SEO market to promote for EMDs. The claims around them generally being that they immediately generate trustworthiness and generate an one-upmanship.

However keep in mind those bad actors we discussed in the last area? Ultimately, Google got wise to their keyword-stuffing URLs and altered its algorithm to discount them. But that’s not to say your site’s domain does not affect SEO.

The Evidence: The Effect Of Domain On SEO

There is a lot of combined information about domain names and their effect on rankings.

There’s no concern that domain names contributed in rankings at one point.

In a 2011 Web Designer Hangout, Matt Cutts, a software engineer on Google’s Browse Quality group, acknowledged the role EMDs played in the tech giant’s search algorithm.

However, he also stated:

“And so, we have actually been considering changing that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that provided two different domains it would not necessarily assist you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.”

And just one year later on, in 2012, Cutts tweeted that low-quality exact match domains would get lowered presence in search results page.

Finally, in 2020, Google Webmaster Trends Expert John Mueller revealed keywords in domain no longer play a role in determining search engine results rankings.

Answering a question if keywords in domain names effect rankings during an Ask Google Webmasters video, he said, “In other words, no. You don’t get a special benefit like that from having a keyword in your high-level domain.”

However this doesn’t imply that domain are unimportant. They’re simply not direct ranking factors.

Learn more about Google Ranking Factors in our second Edition ebook.

Our Verdict: Your Domain Call Is Not A Ranking Factor, But Is Still Important

Now that we’ve developed that domain names are NOT a part of your total online search engine rankings, SEO specialists can simply ignore them, right?


Your option of a domain name can be a crucial aspect of your UX and public image. Your domain name should usually be the most identifiable aspect of your organization. Often that’s not your business name however a particular brand or trademark.

You might wish to consider subdomains or perhaps separate domains for different homes. If you sell products that resellers carry, this can help your clients find you more quickly.

Utilizing keywords in your domain doesn’t help in terms of search ranking; if not done properly, it might even harm your SEO.

But, if your branding is greatly focused on a particular service or product, consisting of a keyword in the domain could assist users understand what you’re about at a glimpse. A carefully placed keyword might likewise assist draw in audiences likely to convert.

Do not be afraid to use a keyword if it’s extremely relevant or part of your branding.

So, here’s the TL; DR: Your domain name doesn’t straight affect your Google ranking however supplies chances for savvy web online marketers to show their brand’s values and develop more favorable user experiences.

For more assistance selecting a domain name, check out Roger Montti’s suggestions.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel