Are Exact Keyword Domains - Dead, Dying, On Last Legs or What

24 replies
Over the last several day and I guess pretty much over the last month, I keep running across discussions, saying exact keyword domains, have lost or losing their importance to Google. I have continued to research this, but have not found any definitive answers one way or the other.

More than one post sounds like "I heard from so and so, that "exact keyword domains" are not as important now. Others have said "I have heard from so and so that "exact" keyword domains" are important and will continue to help in the ranking.

I'm hoping someone here can point me to the right blogs or threads, that will qualify "exact keyword domain" issues for me.

Are Exact Keyword Domains - Dead, Dying, On Last Legs or what in Google?

Ken Leatherman

The Old Geezer
#dead #domains #dying #exact #keyword #legs
  • Profile picture of the author LucasT
    That is a good question... and I don't have the answer. However, I've been testing subdomains with exact keywords and this seems to work well. For example "" This allows you to have one domain name for the niche and drill down into less competitive keywords with the subdomains.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244169].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Talar
      Do try to write more on this, please when you have some testing results. I am going to convert a big, rambling blog to a static site using sub domains as the initial form of siloing. Interested in learning more.

      Talar Profit Systems ,

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2421633].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ben Holmes
    Well, I'm hardly a guru or expert... but I can tell you that I've purchased four domains in the last few weeks and three appeared on page one at least for a short time. (within just a few days.) One is still sitting on page one at number 7 with 31 backlinks and just 5 articles. The other two I've not built any backlinks at all to - and they're both sitting at number 12 with just 3 or 4 articles. (Second on second page of Google.)

    The fourth domain I've not done anything at all to it yet other than point the DNS to a blank Wordpress... (and yet Google has also indexed it - don't know where it appears in the SERPS)

    So my experience isn't vast, but I'd be hard pressed to deny that there's SEO benefits to having an exact match domain name.

    P.S. One .com, 3 .org's.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244180].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ashley Gable
      About 4 months ago I registered about 8 domains, 5 were exact matches and the others werent.

      The exact domains appeared on the first page of google (at least when I first found them) and they have stayed there.

      The non exact match domains are not. All sites have had the exact same promotion done to them.

      So exact match= first page; non exact match= 2nd & 3rd page rankings.

      I think it is important note that I was using a backlink software (that eventually lost its effect but thats besides the point).

      But still, the exact match did seem to give it that boost, that little bit extra to put them on the first page when they were first indexed. And it kept them there as well.

      Also only 2 of them were .com, 2 were .org, and 1 was .net. They all seemed to be equal, at least in this instance.

      All I know is that I will for sure snatch up any highly searched exact match domain I can get. After all it is only a few bucks.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244190].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244198].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
      Exact match domains aren't what they used to be over 2-3 plus years ago, back then there was some magic in them for the less competitive terms. Back then you could get a "thin affiliate" site ranking in about a week and having it stick. But now it's different at least with Google.

      EMD does still help somewhat, but it ain't the magic that it once was. It helps, but now you have to put more content on your site or get some backlinks. A few years back you could put up a brand new site with no backlinks and get to Google's first page quite frequently for less competitive keywords and product numbers.

      I don't think it'll ever die, but it's not as effective as it used to be.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244217].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Wakunahum
        I think they still have power.

        I have sites I haven't done anything with that have fairly high rankings in Google and are #1 in Yahoo without any real backlinking done yet.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244231].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham

        I have a lot of exact match domains and what I really care about besides the rankings are getting people relating to the site based on the domain name. The content has to match, but a domain name that also speaks to the visitor is important.

        I would much rather have my teeth fixed at "Dr. John the Painless Dentist" than I would at "Doc Elmer's Veterinary and Storm Door Repair".

        For me the name means something. The same with the internet. I still believe exact match domains hold a degree of value to the visitor.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244233].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author rich_henderson
          Exact Keyword Domains are alive and well

          The backbone of my online business is based on product based keyword domains (NOT trademark names!) and my staff are building 100+ a month and the results I am seeing are as good as ever and definitely beat keyword with modifier domains.

          It is difficult to see why google would do anything to slap domain names just for being exact keyword targeted. Now if you build flimsy poor quality 2 or 3 pages sites or blogs then maybe, but not just for having an exact keyword in the domain name.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244268].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
          Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post


          I have a lot of exact match domains and what I really care about besides the rankings are getting people relating to the site based on the domain name. The content has to match, but a domain name that also speaks to the visitor is important.

          For me the name means something. The same with the internet. I still believe exact match domains hold a degree of value to the visitor.

          Bill (a.k.a Killer Joe) speaks softly but carries a big stick, with his words. Bill, I agree with you and the others here that expressed their thoughts on the "Exact Match Keyword Domain" being alive and well. As well as the content must be of value to really make the sites stick and rank.

          Thanks everybody for your input and your personal examples of how you have succeeded with the "exact match keyword domain"

          Ken Leatherman

          The Old Geezer

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244751].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author createyouwealth
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      The guys that keep posting the BS about exact keyword domains is dead, are full of it!

      Most of those guys are trying to sell something in their sig.

      I bought a domain name three weeks ago, it's sitting on page 2 for the exact keyword in my domain name. It's a Wordpress site with a single default blog post that is included when you do a fresh wordpress install.

      Don't listen to the nonsense.
      Yea your right good advice to give yukon
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244430].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Keyworded domains can still help, but you have to remember that is only one factor of perhaps 200 or so factors that determine a site's ranking. If enough other things are right, any single factor can be a non-factor.

        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        I would much rather have my teeth fixed at "Dr. John the Painless Dentist" than I would at "Doc Elmer's Veterinary and Storm Door Repair".
        I'll have you know Dr. Hurlstone is no longer in the tooth repair business.

        Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244552].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
    Some of my best performing sites are not exact matches for keywords. It's just work and other SEO to get them ranked and recognised.

    Having said that, i have had some keyword domains that have ranked quickly without much work- i left them and they dropped off and it is only through SEO work again that I got them back up there.

    I know it doesn't really definitively answer your question but my experience has been that keyword domains can give you a bump but they are not the be all and end all of SEO and ranking.
    Best Business Deals - The World's Most Customer Focused Telecommunications Company. Servicing Customers in Australia, Canada and the USA.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244213].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author captivereef
    I know from personal experience that they are not dead. I have a exact keyword domain ranking for a competitive keyword with little work. been there for months!

    With that said Google will not rank you for just the domain and crappy content, you need to have good on page SEO with decent unique content. A little off page SEO will help alot to!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244282].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author redzafahmy
    Yeap exact keyword domains are kicking. I registered a gaming domain name, made 2 posts, a few backlinks, no article marketing, and I was ranked on the first page of google within the first week and still am on the first page of google.

    So without a doubt I know for a fact that exact keyword domains are not dead.

    Hope that helps
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244304].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    They haven't lost their effect but aren't always the best way to go.

    With the competition filtering that I use I can get the exact match domain up on page one within a week. An equivalent word can be used on one of my established sites and be on page 1 within 2 weeks. This page will have the keyword in the URL and all of the other basic on-site SEO properties.

    It is quicker to add a page to a (relevant) site than it is to build a whole new domain.

    For quick, hit and run campaigns such as a product launch I would definetly go for a EMD.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2244771].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    On the other hand , I have a website (WP blog) with a "travel" related domain name,
    ranking number ONE on the first page of Google for "hardwood floor" related keyword! lol

    I did that for training purposes - used "hardwood content" on a travel domain and all
    well-established sites with "hardwood" related domain names are now below me :-)

    I know for a fact, you can create a powerful site, ranking very high, without ANY keywords
    included in your domain. What I find more and more often is that keywords in domain names
    ONLY help you initially... after few weeks the game is WIDE OPEN.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2245212].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Gavin Abeyratne
      I built exact match and phrase match domain sites before the may day algo update, and they are still ranking strong. I don't think this will ever change, heres my opinion as to why.

      Google tends to value keyword in domain because it protects company brands from being outranked by other sites.

      Consider this:

      if you went to google and typed in "mercedes benz" and it wasn't the first result or at least in the top 5, that would be a pretty lame user experience.

      Moreover, Google really wouldn't some punk SEO trying to rank for a brand name which has such tremendous value, and push his 10 page adsense fodder site to the top! (no offense to anyone, I am also a punk SEO)

      Google knows that legal teams from big companies protect trademarks like hawks. I once worked as a paralegal, and basically half the job is scouring the net for trademark infringements.

      Therefore, if a keyword is in the domain, it gets treated like a brand, and Google wants to deliver that brand to people searching for it, and protect it from being outranked to some extent in the interests of user experience.

      The exploit that they probably won't ever be able to get around, is the fact that business brands can have all sorts of names. They don't really have a pattern to them. So for this reason, Google couldn't really devalue keyword stuffing in domains through an algorithm shift, because there is no pattern to look for. Thats why we can create sites like or whatever, because that could very well be my brand name! (not my site, just an example)

      Where does Phrase match domaining come into this?

      Well lets say I went to google and this time I type in "mercedes".

      Obviously I would still want to somewhere in the top rankings, even though I didn't use its full name. So that tends to happen also, though not as strongly as the exact match, for obvious reasons.

      Sometimes people don't type in a brand in full, just part of the name. Sometimes brands will have other words in their domains that aren't necessarily related to their brand name. e.g. BMW North America

      So phrase match does give an SEO boost, and it is actually quite strong.

      The difference between exact match and phrase match tends to be calculated based on keyword density. The less additional letters from the main keyword the better.

      From my experience, research, testing and speculation, thats how keyword in domain works.

      Bare in mind, however, that as others have mentioned backlinking, on page elements, and competition play significant roles in determining how well this all works.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2245434].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author US Blues
    Not only do exact keyword domains help they do not have to be in order. For example, if you wanted but it was not available (I have no idea, just an example) you could try,, or even and they would still do very well for those search terms in time. I have done this a few times successfully.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2245533].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Aira Bongco
    Hey Ken,

    Good ol' Daniel here is conducting a live experiment on exact keyword domains.

    So instead of saying that it is dead, dying or whatever. I would just check out how the experiment will go.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2246108].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    Exact match domains have never been a panacea. Exact match domain name has, for quite some time, been only a piece.
    Read this SURPRISING REPORT Before You Buy ANY WSO! Click Here
    FREE REPORT: Split Test Your Landing Pages the Easy Way
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2421658].message }}
  • Dont you think Google will catch on at some point and give less wieght to exact match domains in the future. It seems that when they have enough of people taking advantage of their algorythm they go and change things.

    If they analzye EMD's as a whole and see that a large portion are one page adsense sites, or amazon autoblogs, they will have to act. They have to protect their brand and thin affiliate EMD's ranking for every keyword in their SERPS is not good for their end user's experience, and might cause them to take some point in the future.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2421693].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      If they're not, they should be and I imagine one day will.

      The domain cannot be indicative of quality. You can control the content of your site and pages, but you don't have as much control over the domain name you pick, because of limited availability.

      It doesn't make sense to give more weight to one site over another simply because that site managed to snag an exact keyword domain and the other did not. The former could be a bunch of keyword-stuffed but inaccurate information while that latter could be top-notch information. And for the former to be given even a little more weight simply because they lucked out on a domain name just doesn't make sense.

      As it stands now, maybe exact keyword domains do give a site some added weight, but I would think that's only going to be short-term and, over the long-term, the domain name itself is going to matter less and less. When that day comes is anyone's guess, but I think it will (and should) come.

      Dan's content is irregularly read by handfuls of people. Join the elite few by reading his blog:, following him on Twitter: or reading his fiction: but NOT by Clicking Here!

      Dan also writes content for hire, but you can't afford him anyway.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2421818].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelF
    In the long run anything that gets abused will get devalued by Google. It may not be happening now, but I believe eventually it will.

    If you put up a site at for example, those kinds of sites seem to work great for now. I have no proof, but I can't help feeling that eventually Google will favor more authoritative sites over super narrow ones.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2427318].message }}

Trending Topics