I’ve heard this over and over lately so it’s time for me to put this myth to bed once and for all. Many new Domainers getting-into this space are opting for development. This is a good thing and in my opinion the best way to build a business vs. being self-employed in the Domaining space. Remember, business owners can walk-away from their business for a month or two and still make the same money they were before. People who are self-employed still don’t answer to “the man” but when they take time-off, the money takes time-off too!
As more people get attracted to Domains and the development potential the topic of The First Page Of Google comes up. The first page of Google is the apex of SEO success and for those enjoying first-page spots you know that the traffic can be incredible. Of course I’m talking about ranking for something meaningful, anyone can get on the first page of Google for a term that under 500 people are looking for, but get into the 1,000+ range, where the real traffic is, and it gets harder.
The problem I see happening now is that new Domainers are doing the right thing and buying domains with keywords that exactly match popular search phrases. Nothing wrong with that right? The problem isn’t with the names that they are buying, it is with the expectations that they have for the names. If you’ve truly picked a niche with good search volume and revenue potential, guess what? Other people will already be in the space and good domain or not they’ve probably done the SEO work to earn their spot. Many new Domainers and new Domainer-Developers think, “with this exact match domain I’ll be on the first page of Google in no time!”
That’s right, I’ve said it over and over again this year and I’ll say it again now. A great domain will not get you on the first page of Google. Sorry, Google used to put more weight on domain names but they have dramatically decreased the impact that domains have on ranking. Bing, on the other hand still puts a lot of emphasis on domains and getting onto the first Page of Bing with an exact-match domain is a much easier prospect. Don’t forget Bing represents 38% of the search traffic…that’s a big number!
So then what’s the point of buying an exact-match domain?
An exact-match domain will always give you an advantage in the search engines. Google does use the domain name as part of its ranking algorithm, but you’ll have to do a number of other things right in order to get onto the first page. I think of exact-match domains as a very important part of my SEO strategy, but I acknowledge that it’s only a part, it’s not a shoe-in like so many people think.
What an exact-match domain can help me do is something that is important to every SEO nut like myself out there – outrank the competition. Let’s say I want to rank well in the debt niche and for the term “debt elimination programs” well the person who is #1 in Google is using an exact-match domain with dashes and the word reviews at the end. I have a stronger more targeted domain, if I do everything that person is doing (i.e. same or more pages of content, same or more number of backlinks, etc.) I can beat them.
That is what an exact-match domain is good for. To put it bluntly, it is the nail in the coffin, the one small thing that can give you that minor competitive edge that makes the difference. Let’s face it, being on the bottom of the first page of Google is one thing, get above the fold for a lucrative term and you could have a passive income stream for life. Just remember, the domain name is only part of your SEO strategy, if you think all those names you bought will guarantee you first page rankings you’ll have to come back down to earth and do the work that your competitors are doing.
Use exact-match domains like tools, it’s a bit like cheating – you give yourself an edge in whatever niche you want. Still it’s what you do with that edge will determine if you get on the first page of Google or spend your life relegated to the catacombs of page two and beyond…