Title tag for the home page of an exact match domain

by Eoon
6 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hi guys,

So, I have this old exact match domain that's just been collecting dust and I'm starting to work on it.

Without getting into the nitty gritty of whether they work or not, I'd like to hear from people on one specific thing - writing the title tag for an EMD.

So, I'll be trying to rank my home page for my main keyword, say, "best red apple" and the domain is bestredapple dot com.

Typically, I'd go with something like: Best Red Apple Reviews | Buyer's Guide | Site Name

only, in this case, that would be: Best Red Apple | Buyer's Guide | Best Red Apple

I guess my main question is if there's a downside to NOT include the site name. I'm obviously not much after branding but knowing that Google sometimes changes the title to include the brand/site name is what makes me ask whether not including the site name can be bad.

To simplify it - would this be just as good:

Best Red Apple Reviews | Yearly Buyer's Guide | 2018 Update

sorry for rambling...I hope I was clear about what I'm asking.

Thanks
#domain #exact #home #match #page #tag #title
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
    I'm afraid you've misunderstood what an exact match domain is.

    bestredapple dot com is only an exact match for "bestredapple" NOT "best red apple".

    For Google to parse a SERP out of bestredapple you have to assume Google will only use known words, but we know Google ranks made up words as well, so why wouldn't your example domain rank for:

    be streda pple
    best re dap ple
    bestre dapple
    b estre d apple
    etc...

    I've wrote about this in a comment at https://stallion-theme.co.uk/seo-dom...#comment-44977 which includes multiple funny domain name examples.

    Fortunately keywords in URLs is a minor SEO factor, so I wouldn't worry about it. If targeting a SERP like "Best Read Apple" the best title is "Best Read Apple" assuming it's a SERP the webpage stands a chance of ranking for.

    An old unused domain (same as a new domain SEO wise) with no backlinks isn't going to rank for anything competitive whether it's exact match or not.

    David
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    • Profile picture of the author Eoon
      Originally Posted by SEO-Dave View Post

      I'm afraid you've misunderstood what an exact match domain is.

      bestredapple dot com is only an exact match for "bestredapple" NOT "best red apple".

      For Google to parse a SERP out of bestredapple you have to assume Google will only use known words, but we know Google ranks made up words as well, so why wouldn't your example domain rank for:

      be streda pple
      best re dap ple
      bestre dapple
      b estre d apple
      etc...

      I've wrote about this in a comment at https://stallion-theme.co.uk/seo-dom...#comment-44977 which includes multiple funny domain name examples.

      Fortunately keywords in URLs is a minor SEO factor, so I wouldn't worry about it. If targeting a SERP like "Best Read Apple" the best title is "Best Read Apple" assuming it's a SERP the webpage stands a chance of ranking for.

      An old unused domain (same as a new domain SEO wise) with no backlinks isn't going to rank for anything competitive whether it's exact match or not.

      David
      Thanks, I do get your point but I don't agree...if I understood you right, there are only one-word EMDs, like apple dot com. Or are you suggesting that, for a domain to be an EMD, we should parcel the words for Google, like best-red-apple dot com?

      This is a side project, a test of sorts on whether emds still have an edge with all other factors equal (I think they do and it's not minor).

      I have two older sites in the niche - one is (for the purposes of this conversation) fruit dot com and the other is bestredappleguide dot com. I found it easier to rank the latter for "apple-related" keywords every step of the way.

      We could now dilute the conversation by getting into the other factors, but I worked on these sites and I'm talking about what I've seen - similar strength of the link profile, similar quality of the content, similar on-site metrics...easier to rank.

      And I never said I expected to rank just because of the domain name.
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      • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
        Originally Posted by Eoon View Post

        Thanks, I do get your point but I don't agree...if I understood you right, there are only one-word EMDs, like apple dot com. Or are you suggesting that, for a domain to be an EMD, we should parcel the words for Google, like best-red-apple dot com?
        EMDs are one keyword domains like apple.tld and hyphenated like red-apples.tld.

        Those are given a tiny ranking boost, basically if everything else was equal red-apples.tld would rank above redapples.tld for the Red Apples SERP.

        The URL factor appears to be so small now it's impractical to test.

        Sounds like in your tests you haven't removed important variables like anchor text and content: you've got a "it feels like it's important" result. One decent backlink can out rank all your onsite SEO completely messing up your SEO tests.

        Trying to test two webpages with real SERPs (where there is competition and you need backlinks etc...) one with format "red-apples.html" the other "redapples.html" with identical links from the same page is impossible because one of the backlinks will be higher in the code and it's been shown via SEO tests (I think it was Moz which did some good tests on this) Google passes more ranking value to the first link in code. Even visiting a webpage via the test Google search phrase can impact ranking changes!

        One test you can try with filenames rather than domains.

        If you think a URL like

        example.tld/redappleshealthy.html

        Will rank for the SERP "Red Apples Are Healthy" just because of the URL, create a webpage with that format, but do not add the words Red, Apples, Healthy to the content or the backlinks anchor text and this will limit the variables tested: you've removed content and anchor text as variables.

        You have to remove anchor text as a variable because anchor text is enough to have a ranking impact. Check the section "External Link Anchor Text SEO Test Results" at https://seo-gold.com/anchor-text-of-...inks-seo-test/ the Donald Trump Poem obscure SERPs.

        Note: pick a phrase that's obscure (ideally unique: like I have in the test above) so the URL alone will easily rank the webpage.

        I've done this test multiple times, when setup correctly you will find the webpage doesn't rank for SERPs like "Red Apples Are Healthy" for a URL like example.tld/redappleshealthy.html but will rank when the URL is example.tld/red-apples-healthy.html when the words Red, Apples, Healthy aren't included in the content or anchor text of backlinks.

        BTW Didn't think you said a page would rank high just because of the domain name. I was trying to explain only EMDs (one keyword or hyphenated) have a ranking benefit and that benefit is tiny and can be ignored because one half decent backlink will blow that factor out the water relatively speaking. Basically don't worry too much about the domain name, but do hyphenate your filenames if you can. If you already have a bunch of non-hyphenated filenames don't worry about it, fixing it will require 301 redirects and they cost ~15% of of your PageRank!

        David
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  • Please don't repeat the same term. Suggest you to go ahead with - Best Red Apple Reviews | Yearly Buyer's Guide | 2018 Update

    =

    You can do some Google search and use some better terms in your Title and Description for better results - indexing and ranking.

    Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eoon
      Originally Posted by SEOptimization@1 View Post

      Please don't repeat the same term. Suggest you to go ahead with - Best Red Apple Reviews | Yearly Buyer's Guide | 2018 Update

      =

      You can do some Google search and use some better terms in your Title and Description for better results - indexing and ranking.

      Good luck.
      Thanks, that's what I was probably going to do...I'd probably get lower CTR too if I repeated the keywords cause it looks spammy.

      cheers
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