Having a Keyword-Rich Domain Name – Does Google Really Value This?

By Scott

Several years ago, it seemed that “everybody” counted a keyword-rich domain name as an important factor for attaining high rankings in the search engines.

A keyword rich domain name is a website address that reflects an important keyword or phrase for your business. For example, if you sell Waterproof Rain Coats, the perfect “keyword-rich” domain for you would be “WaterproofRainCoats.com” as opposed to “JacksCoats.com.”

Over time, conventional wisdom (at least my conventional wisdom) has led me to devalue the importance of having a keyword-rich domain name. Sure, all things equal, I do believe it helps. But I never viewed it as being an imperative for securing top placement on your most important term.

As I tend to do on Sunday afternoons, I’ve been reading all the previous week’s articles so I’m up on the “latest news” for the coming week. Anyone who knows anything about the online marketing business, and search engines in particular, knows things change VERY frequently.

Anyway, I came across an article discussing how a diamond retailer optimized their website. Naturally, I did a Google search for the term “diamond.” The results served as persuasive anecdotal evidence that having a keyword-rich, descriptive website address may be helpful, if not necessary, to achieving top placement on competitive terms.

My Google search for “diamond” yielded results as follows:

11 of the top 14 listings included the term “Diamond” in the website domain (www.acmediamond.com)

1 of the top 14 listings included the term “Diamond” in the website address (www.acme.com/diamond)

2 of the top 14 listings did not include the term “Diamond” in the website address or domain name, but did include it in the title

This is by no means a scientific study (not even close!), but as far as anecdotal evidence goes, the observation has peaked my curiosity. I won’t recommend that all of my clients change their domain names (for a variety of very important reasons)

But if you’re starting a new website, try to include your most important keyword/phrase in the domain name.