Keyword use in domain name
Exact Domain Matching has hit the headlines recently as Google has tried to crack down on this latest trick spammers use to bend the Google search results.
Although Exact Domain Matching may now not work as it once did, domains which feature a close match still work and it could be argued that a close match can now take the place where Exact matches once stood.
The importance of keywords in the domain name
Originally it took a lot of money, time and effort to create a website.
During this period people who had invested in a domain name which matched what they did was seen to have benefits and reinforce the likely content a website would have.
In short the domain name could give Google a good ranking signal.
Over the last decade the cost of publishing to the web has dropped drastically and for little or no money it’s now possible to publish on the web.
This has lead to a gold rush for people registering domain names with the express purpose of gaining valuable Google rank.
After a recent Algorithm update Google has started to weed out some of these no value domain in an attempt to increase the quality of its search results.
Although Exact matches may be dead for domain names (this is still disputed by Google though) a close match is still a viable alternative..
Therefore when analysing the competition it’s important to stay within the acceptable range as not to be penalised.
Google proof your search engine optimisation for keyword in the domain name
While it is true that no one outside of Google knows the mechanism for determining rank in its search engine listing, we do know Google likes the top ten pages for a given phrase for a reason, and it is this fact we can use to formulate our strategy.
The reason for looking at the top ten as a whole is that it allows us to remove the ‘freak’ results of any one website.
Age of web sites for the phrase local web design on 6th December 2012 on Google UK
We could look at any phrase but it makes sense to look at a popular term. It’s also important to note that the internet is a fluid place and analysis on one day and with one search engine can be different on another day on another engine.
Looking at the top ten sites for this phrase the interesting part of this is none of the top ten sites feature our exact mix of our key phrase, but a majority of them have a mix of the individual elements.
In short what is working is a near exact match, but as with all snap shots thought needs to be put into the potential audience, the competition and making sure the keywords targeted work on that basis.
Finally nearly half of the top ten results featured none of the key phrases, proving that if one part of your search engine optimisation is not spot on you can compensate with other elements.