Effect of Domain Name on Rankings

  • beefcakejcc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If I wanted to rank highly on a search term such as "how to play hop scotch" and I noticed that howtoplayhopscotch.com was available...would that help me in my rankings. For example would the effect of having a site where your domain name, title, and H1 tag being the keyword phrase exactly help you significantly in your ranking. Or is better just to focus on PR with a big site instead of adding specific domains?
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

how-to-play-hopscotch.com would probably help you more than howtoplayhopscotch.com.

While your domain name potentially can help your rankings, it's a tiny insignificant part compared to content, PR & good anchor text.
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have seen either way (with or without dashes) do quite a nice job of boosting your positioning. The only downfall is the way it looks. I hate sites that are keyword stuffed. I have a few clients that did this, though it works, it doesn't look that good.
  • discountdomains
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi,

My experience is that it only has a very minor effect on rankings.

A disadvantage being that its harder to build a brand around a keyword.

Clare
  • pompei
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think beefcakejcc was also asking whether it is best to split up your site into more independent domains, or keep the topic-related pages under the same site (that would have a bigger PR and more inbound links pointing to one site).

I don't know the answer to this, but would be interested if anyone has noticed anything about it.
  • dr nick
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've had good experience with subdomains -- I've had some pages perform better within a subdomain of an existing site, than as a new domain.
  • beefcakejcc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

what would be an example of a sub-domain?

and yes Pompei got the better understanding of my question.

My site is on an independant server and I just found out that I can have up to 70 domain names. So I was wondering if it would be worth it to add a bunch of domains that were my the same as my keywords.

The idea was that a) I would be able to optimize each domain for the keyword and b) I could create about thirty or so sites that would all interlink and hopefully raise my PR.
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

a subdomain is this:

subdomain.domain.com

As far as doing what you said. You need to watch out. There was talk about Google penalizing linking schemes between same IP addresses. If that doesn't get you, I am pretty sure Google has decreased the power of PR with same IP address linking schemes.
  • beefcakejcc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah I just read something about that in another thread a few minutes ago. I was thinking that was pretty common practice among design companies that had hundreds of clients. Would you say that there is a cutoff point where Google get's suspicious? For example right now I have two sites on the same independant server. They share tons of links because one site has free information and the other is mail order.

Do you have to purchase a sub-domain?
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

No, you do not have to pay for a subdomain. With crosslinking between sites, I would just recommend making sure that you do have a lot of outside links coming to your sites as well as the linking between the sites.
  • beefcakejcc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thanks....very helpful information. For someone just getting started it's interesting trying to get more hits/sales while making sure you don't do anything to piss Google off.
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

No problem....
  • Johan007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree wih Axe that the boost is low and in my opinion insignificant.

When people link to you try get them to use proper words in the link text and keep the url clean.
  • beefcakejcc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If what I'm picking up from various posts is correct. It seems odd that anchor text would be more valuable than a domain name. With the exception of people just happening to type in the domain name with something like officedepot.com. You would think that would be the sure fire way to garner relevancy. But I guess that would also be an easy way to spam. For example some porn site buying guitarlessons.com and then redirecting the page.

Oh well. Shortcuts never work. I guess I just go find myself some IBLs
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Its just some people's opinions. Some categories do well with branded names, others do well with keywords in the domains. Just look to your business area and see what domains are ranking well for the keywords you want to position high.

For example, if I was selling diamond jewelry and I had to choose between http://www.diamondjewelry.com and http://www.vetofunk.com, I would def take the first one.
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

And on a search for "diamond jewelry" at Google, diamondjewelry.com doesn't appear in the first 5 pages (walmart.com, however, does).

:)
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thats because they don't have me optimizing it ;-)
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

lol...

But you see what I mean? The domain name itself, while it may have an affect on the results, it doesn't appear to be a huge one. Most of the brand-name domains are usually up there because they're optimized to some degree or other.

Even if it's purely by accident. If somebody's business name is the same as their domain name - fredswidgets.com, for example - and they have "Fred's Widgets" plastered all over their site, and "Fred's Widgets Homepage" links everywhere, chances are they're going to (eventually) come up #1 on a search for "Fred's Widgets".

If your business has more of a generic name, like "Power Tools", and you register powertools.com, the name may help you a tiny little bit, but it's all useless, and overriden by other sites that have more SEO, higher PR, if you don't put any more thought into it than that.

I believe that the specific brand name domains are #1 purely by coincidence, otherwise you'd have http://www.yoursearchquery.com coming up as the first result on ever search you do. Because of the reasons in the "Fred's Widgets" example above. If your business name (and domain name) is plastered all over every page, as it often is, you're going to eventually get pretty high.

To use your example, diamondjewelry.com, if you had "Diamond Jewelry - <product name here>" at the top of every page on your site, and a link at the bottom of your page that says...

Code: [ Select ]
This site is Copyright <a href="http://www.diamondjewelry.com">Diamond Jewelry</a> ©1066

That's obviously going to help.

Possibly domain name is a factor in how highly you rank (or perhaps even subdomain - is http://forum.yoursite.com going to rate higher or lower than http://www.yoursite.com/forum on a search for "your keyword forum" assuming all other things are equal?) but I feel it's an almost non-existent factor.

I just think too many inexperienced people see domain name as a huge factor and give it too much importance. Personally, I don't take search engines into consideration at all when picking a domain name. I pick something that's easy to remember, easy to repeat down the phone without being incorrectly spelled (hyphens missing, having a domain made up of 2 or more words where the last letter of one word is the same as the first letter of the following word, etc.), and could look neat in a fancy logo :)
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Axe, I totally agree with you. Many of my clients have branded names and do very well in the search engines. I think it just depends on the actual business area of your site. In the end, it is how good you optimize the site.

I am about to buy a domain name that has the actual keywords in the domain itself because every listing for the keywords I want has the keywords in the domain. This, combined with my optimizing should do me well. This is the domain name and idea that is gonna make me rich ;-)
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

lol, good luck! :)
  • justice
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I had a discussion on the same subject in another thread. In my opinion the keyword rich URLs help A LOT in Google for my keywords. Nearly all the top 10 listings for my key phrase have keyword rich URLs. For example, for London Blue Widget:

http://www.London-blue-widget.com
http://www.blue-widget.com/London
http://www.adomain.com/london/blue/widget/
http://www.adomain.com/blue/widget/london
http://www.adomain.com/london-blue.widget.htm

et. etc.

The best way to find out is to search for your key phrase and to study the top entries.

Good luck...
  • RichDad
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes Keyword phrases definetly help a lot. There was a whole argument on http://www.domainpeeps.comabout which is better and in my opinion It is better to own "IceCreamScoops.com" if you are selling ice cream scoops rather than harvey industry.com ect.
  • Byzantium
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The thing about keywords in domain names is this: It may not be as significant as optimised content or loads of good incoming links, but when you are doing SEO what you are trying to do is gain competitive advantage.

If you have good keywords in your domain name then those keywords form part of the URL for every page on your site and, all other things being equal, that has got to help!

But beware of buying up domain names thinking that they are the magic bullet to search engine success...

Oh - and you don't need hyphens - all the search engines can parse keywords in the domain name without help from hyphens - but it's good to avoid ambiguity. I have a parked site Who Reads .com - which was picking up some strange advertising, until I realised it could also be parsed as Whore Ads...

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