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How Much Does Domain Matter?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 talbert1209

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:55 PM

I'm a totally new to this, and this is a pretty general question so bear with me.

So.... say if you buy the domain 'whyistheskyblue.com' and set up a site and all that jazz. Will that automatically be the first search result when someone searches 'why is the sky blue' ?

Thanks a lot!

#2 Jill

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:27 AM

No.

#3 talbert1209

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:37 AM

Thanks a lot, Jill!

I was hoping for a bit more of an explanation of why or why not. Maybe someone else could elaborate? If you were targeting the keyword phrase 'whyistheskyblue' having 'whyistheskublue.com' would be beneficial though correct?

#4 qwerty

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:45 AM

A document's URL, potentially including its domain name, is a signal that Google looks at, but it's one of hundreds of such signals. Is it one of the stronger signals? Probably not. There was a time not too long ago when "exact match" domains did quite well, but it looks like Google saw that that was a weakness in their algorithm and they adjusted to weaken that signal.

On top of that, there's the question of whether a search engine would necessarily parse "whyistheskyblue" as "why is the sky blue". If you made the domain name why-is-the-sky-blue.com, there would be no question about how to parse out the words, but that would look decidedly spammy, and that was the way exact-match domains were generally set up. There are numerous humorous examples out there of non-hyphenated domains that aren't always read the way the people who registered them intended, such as one which is intended to be read out as "pen island". I'm sure you can figure out the alternative reading :)

But even when some people were making a lot of money on exact-match domains, the advice here at HR has always been that a domain name's purpose is branding rather than matching up with some keyword phrase. Make it memorable, easy to spell and easy to share, and it's going to serve you much better in the long run.

#5 chrishirst

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:48 AM

And of course there is the occasional unintended consequence.

#6 Jill

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:56 AM

I was hoping for a bit more of an explanation of why or why not. Maybe someone else could elaborate? If you were targeting the keyword phrase 'whyistheskyblue' having 'whyistheskublue.com' would be beneficial though correct?


Well you asked if it would "automatically be the first search result when someone searches 'why is the sky blue' ?"

Do you really think there's a magic bullet that can always get a URL to be automatically the #1 result for anything? If there were, don't you think it would be completely exploited and ruin Google's search results?

#7 piskie

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:09 PM

Regardless of what anyone else may say, Qwerty really hit the nail on the head, so look no further than:

Make it memorable, easy to spell and easy to share



#8 talbert1209

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:04 PM

Thank you all very much! I appreciate the tough love.




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