Keyword Rich Domains Debated - No longer relevant?


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Keyword-rich domains do not help a website become more relevant to the topic. That is what Duane Forrester, a Senior Product Manager at Bing wrote on the company blog in response to several comments at the recent Namescon conference. While ten years ago, Forrester writes there may have been some truth to this. But today, none. And with the introduction of new gTLDs, the same rules will apply to them as existing gTLDs and ccTLDs.

"Ranking today is a result of so many signals fed into the system the words used in a domain send less and less information into the stack as a percentage of overall decision making signals," writes Forrester. "This is great from our view (the engine) as it results in better results showing at the top since no one signal manipulated. From the searchers POV, it's better simply because those sites trying to abuse their way to the top with a keyword rich domain and irrelevant or poor content cease to rank well."

On what a registrant's focus should be, Forrester writes "if you're focused on the user experience and relevancy, however, the value remains intact to a greater degree. Good domain names are easy to remember, easy to spell, easy to pronounce and often short. If you look around, you'll see no shortage of made up words as domains, too. You CAN create a new word that passes many tests and you CAN build awareness of it and over time you'll see it become an actually searched-on phrase in its own right."

"To reach this point, however, there has to be something of value on the site. Something that makes people want to share the site, recommend the site and revisit the site themselves. This is where your content, user experience and relevancy come into play.

"It's perfectly acceptable to use words in domains in unique ways. Its fine to use words in domains in ironic ways, though be sure those looking for you understand your meaning. Think of The Onion. People don't go there looking for produce.

"Today, this is our reality. It's inescapable. There are no shortcuts. Even the new generic top level domains (gTLDs) coming out near the end of February will be treated in this manner. Domain spamming isn't new, so sites that provide value, are relevant and that people like will rank as usual. They won't rank 'just because' they have certain words in them, and thinking that keyword stuffing a domain (think: will give you an edge is dangerous. You'll fall off that cliff in a hurry if abused. If it appears that it's just all going to bring forward spam, well, you know we aren't interested in that approach."

The complete article by Duane Forrester on the Bing blog is available at:



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There was a Q&A post on a blog (DNA) today about how gets more than 85% of its traffic because it has a keyword rich exact match domain...via type in traffic
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