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Creating Domain Names

MikeMCSD asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-18


 I have a question creating domain names. I understand fully about optimizing the overall site, but I am not sure about domain names limitations. I have heard that google is placing less emphasis on domain names, but we still want to utilize this based on our products. We have done many searches, and for the most part, the sites with domain names of the products seem to always come up first. My question is how far can we go. I have 3 keyword phrases, each with 2 words. Putting these phrases together would give a domain name that covers our main products, and the subject of our products with high ranked set of keywords. As an example: selling Outdoor Furniture. Say keyword phrases: White Chair and red bench. The Domain name would be outdoorfurniturewhitechairredbench.com. Besides not having too much in the way of catchy names, can we be penalized in any way for having too many keywords, or the overall length? What about the new Branding that google is doing? How will this be affected by it? Can we improve this?

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Matthew NguyenSenior Associate: Social Listening

Well, Google does not like people keyword stuffing on websitesper their guidelines: Keyword Stuffing, so I would assume that is the same for domain names.  As well, keyword stuffed domains have the reputation of being spam sites so searchers are less likely to click on them, as well as abnormally long domain names.  Even if you happen to rank on the first page, there's a good chance you won't be clicked on since searchers tend to click more on branded links.  Though it's not listed anywhere in the guidelines, 2-3 words in the domain name is rule of thumb in picking domain names.

In the same sense, there is still value in having keywords in the domain, but remember that the domain name isn't what is going to get your ranked, it's going to be the content and reputation of your site/page.  The example I use is BestBuy, they have no keywords in their domain name but are able to rank #1 for the search term "Printers."  As well, you are correct in that Google is looking at more brand signals than they are looking for keywords in the domain, here is a video from Matt Cutts at Google discussing this very subject:  Keywords in Domain

My suggestion, focus on the content of the page and building reputation/authority to your products and website, as you noted early in your post.  Even though there still is value in having keywords in your domain, Google is putting more emphasis on brands and brand signals in their rankings and less on exact match domains.
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