listen to ‘Exact match domains… Is it still smart to get keyword rich domains?’ on Audioboo

Everyone loves a shortcut.

And no matter how much we insist that SEO is a long-term exercise, and that it takes months or even years to dominate a competitive niche, it seems that most people still can’t resist looking for ways to jump the queue.

Something on which Google is keen to clamp down.

Purchasing keyword-rich domain names, for example. This is one of those tactics that has been used and abused for years, and Google used a recent update to dial back the effect of this strategy.

Or did it?

Is purchasing exact match domains really a strategy that belongs on the rubbish heap?

While there does seem to be evidence that a keyword-rich domain name doesn’t have quite the same impact on your rankings, there is a still a very good reason why you should still be using them for your website.

A reason that most webmasters have completely missed.

First of all, the idea that Google has completely cracked down on keyword-rich domain names is a bit misleading.

What they’ve actually done is target exact match domains that contain low quality or thin content, or that have a poor linking profile. This simply means that having the keywords in your domain name is no longer enough to give you a decent kick up the rankings; you also need to have decent content and plenty of quality backlinks.

If you’re doing SEO properly then this shouldn’t worry you in the slightest. You’re already focused on producing great content, and generating a variety of quality back links, right?

But there’s another reason why having keywords in your domain name is so valuable.

One of the primary targets of the recent Google updates is webmasters who are building scores of links that all use the same anchor text. Google knows this is unnatural and it wants, instead, to see websites with lots of variety in the keywords that are used in the backlinks.

But if you have your primary keyword phrase already in your domain, then it’s a little bit like having a “get out of jail free” card for your link building.

You see Google knows that a lot of people that link to you naturally will probably use your domain name as the anchor text. So if your domain name contains the phrase “purple dinosaurs”, Google aren’t going to penalize you for having lots of links containing this phrase; it’s your domain name, so they’re EXPECTING to see plenty of instances of this.

You still need to engineer some variety in your incoming link anchor text, but having your primary keyword phrase in your domain name just gives you a little bit more freedom to target these in your links.

This isn’t really a new strategy. This has worked for years and it will probably work for a long time to come.
Which, in a nutshell, kind of sums up Google’s recent changes. Much is as it was before; it’s just harder for low quality websites to rank.

This is great news for everyone that is focused on producing quality websites and performing smart SEO.

And if you’re looking for some extra help to push your business up the rankings, why not arrange some 1-on-1 consulting:

Try SEO quote calculator

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