Matching Keyword Relevance with Domain Name – The Google Way
Obviously most of the effort if not every effort we extend is aimed at propelling our businesses at the top of Google’s SERPs. Not that we do not have other search engines, there are hundreds of other search engines out there. But then only Google matters! Once you get at the top of Google, chances are that you will also rank very well in all other search engines. It is not automatic, but what the heck!
For very many years, Google used to look at the name of a website and the wording in queries typed by users and then rank the site higher if the domain name offered a match to the queries. This way was/is known as exact match domains.
About ten or so years ago, wow I am getting old, I didn’t realize it’s been that many years ago. Back then I would only build a website with an exact match domain. For instance if I was trying to rank “Easy Money”, I would want to own EasyMoney.com or .org or .net. As Google moved in this direction, back then, it created the content farm problem, which necessitated the creation of the content farm update.
In October 2012 Google came up with another update, the exact match domain algorithm update. Before the update I had long ditched the EMD. The update essentially changed the way the game was played. All sites which had a bonus or boost from the EMD were removed. In my humble opinion, I believe this was for the better, it leveled the playing ground for all domains, but not for long.
Google is still tightening the noose around those who were left in the EMD world. The signals that the company uses to consider the relevance of keywords to domain names have gotten more sophisticated. Type anything related to electronics review and CNET.com will be at the top of the search results. Obviously it’s not just about the domain name. Google is making connections between various inputs including the terms, concepts, phrases and then domain name. The brand name is also being considered.
Then there is something about searchers. Searchers on various topics eventually end up somewhere on the web. Google has access to a lot of data about where searchers go on the Internet. Google simply says “Hmm, this person was looking for cell phone review, he went to CNET.com. Many others also did the same.” The conclusion here would be there is an affinity between these searchers and this particular website. Out of this Google would probably build a connection.
So, does Google penalize EMD users? I don’t think so. However, those using keywords in their domain names are ripe for a Google penalty if they over-optimize their sites. The long and short being that there are no shortcuts, so do not try to get ahead by keyword stuffing your domain name. Higher rank is a result of the content you provide.