At one time having a relevant Exact Domain Name – EMD – provided major benefit in ranking on Google.
If you are a firm of accountants in Wembley (and wembleyaccountants.com is available) you would have been given a free start to rank for your target keyword by purchasing this domain name.
Sydneyaccountants.com has an exact match domain but this will no longer give them a boost up the Google rankings for their target keywords.
Far more important is the reputation of the website and webpages – total page reputation in terms of the power of incoming links.
Apart from providing a market for purveyors of domain names, this clearly provided an inappropriate advantage to competitors.
Google devalued the benefits of EMDs in 2012
In the next few months, 700 domain extensions will become available – and domains with these extensions can be pre-ordered.
.builders .cleaning .dentist .doctor .law .lawyer .legal .London .web .shop .online .property
Even in March 2011, Cutts warned viewers in a video that brandable domains tended to be the way to go. He said at the time:
“Now if you’re still on the fence, let me just give you a bit of color, that we have looked at the rankings and the weights that we give to keyword domains, and some people have complained that we’re giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains,” Cutts said. “And so we have been thinking about adjusting that mix a little bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given two different domains it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain with a bunch of keywords in it.”
Google hasn’t said whether this algorithm change affects only queries they consider commercial, but it’s clear they’ve been working on the issue for some time. Slawski points out that a sentence near the end of the patent application opens the process up for uses on other queries, as well:
Moreover, while the above-description focused on detecting commercial queries, implementations consistent with the principles of the invention are equally applicable to detecting other types of queries, such as queries for geographic information, navigational queries (e.g., a query of “ibm” is likely looking for IBM’s home page), time-based queries, news-related queries, natural language queries, queries involving proper names, etc.
Buying an Exact Match Domain
Is there any point in purchasing an exact match domain? The fact that your target keywords are in the domain name will no longer directly assist from the ranking point of view.
There are, however, two potential advantages:-
- If you are Wembley accountants and another website chooses to link to your website, they will often use your domain name in the anchor (linking) text. Their anchor text adds to the relevance of your webpage for that keyword. If your have the domain name wembleyaccountants.com there might be some long-term benefit. The problem is that few websites give links to other websites naturally these days.
- Clients may find it easier to remember a keyword rich domain name.
Website Reputation and Company Reputation
Interestingly, the website reputation does not equate to the reputation of the firm. There could be 20 links to a website saying that the firm is to be avoided for a variety of reasons. The reputation of the firm might be poor but all the search engines would understand is that there are a lot of links that add to the website authority!
If you are considering developing a new website with one of the new domain extensions, we would be happy to register it for you in your name ready to build the website when the domain name goes live. Please send the details in our contact form.