I’ve talked a lot about buying and selling domains in this series so I thought it was time to give a little love to the Domain Developers in the audience. Developing a domain name into a real business is a lot of work but can absolutely be well worth the reward if you can generate meaningful traffic and revenue. However I’m not talking about MiniSites, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, MiniSites are dead, but development is alive and well and SEO is a key part of the development puzzle, in fact it’s often where the traffic comes from.
The SEO world is full of myths that might sound good in book and blog posts, but don’t actually pan out. Some of these myths were originally true but many have become myths as Google and Bing have updated their algorithms over the years. The problem is, blog post talking about some SEO trick might have been popular in 2006 might still be out there on the net, even on the first page of Google because the site it’s on is a high-authority site. However a high-authority site can still have outdated content and it only takes another blogger reading this content to start the spread of misinformation, or myths.
I have been doing SEO since the mid-90’s and I’ve seen the game completely change while the same myths live on. It’s time to put those myths to bed, and where better to do it than in today’s MBA Monday. Ready? Let’s dispel some myths:
- The Longer A Domainer Is Registered For The Better It Will Rank – this myth was created a long time ago to encourage people to register domains for a longer period of time. Network Solutions definitely used it the most and certainly did trick a lot of people into doing 5+ year registrations to ensure their site ranked as best as possible. What they forget to mention is that it’s a completely disproven myth…but it is a great way to make more money for them! Matt Cutts from Google has come out himself and said that this is false so you can kick that myth to the curb.
- Backlinks From Blog Comments on High PR Blogs Are Incredibly Valuable – many SEO books and posts talk about the practice of posting comments on high-authority blogs to rank better for specific terms. This is a bit like using your neighbors WiFi so you don’t have to pay for it yourself. It used to work when nobody had secured their WiFi networks but now it’s next to impossible. The same is true for blog comment backlinks. There was a time when some major blogs had “Do Follow” links allowed in their comments, now 99% of the blogs out there provide “No Follow” links. If you have tons of “No Follow” links this will now hurt, not help your link profile.
- Automated Tools Can Generate A Large Volume Of Valuable Backlinks – ah the good old days! There also was a time where automated tools could build very valuable links, that did really happen and I know many people (myself included) that saw some great results from this. That was quite a while ago and now many of these tools will actually get you de-listed or hurt your rank for the exact terms you want to rank better for. The rules of SEO have changed but many of the tools haven’t – remember, they make money selling the tool, not building a better tool.
- An Exact-Match Domain Will Get You On The First Page Of Google – this one has always been a myth. Having a good domain can absolutely impact your rank, but much of that impact comes from more people clicking on exact-match domains than any SEO powers the exact-match domain itself has. No matter how you slice it an exact-match domain will not get you on the first page of Google for a competitive term. An exact match domain with solid backlinks from sites like New York Times, TechCrunch, etc. could definitely get you where you want to be, but it’s not the exact-match domain itself, it’s all about what you do with it.
- .COM Ranks Better Than .NET Or .ORG – this is another myth that has never been true. Matt Cutts from Google has said it himself many times, a .COM has no ranking advantage to a .NET or .ORG. There are plenty of competitive search terms where non exact-match .NET and .ORG names outrank their .COM counterparts. Once again it all comes down to what you do with the domain. The value you will get from a .COM domain will often be type-in traffic, which is a very good thing, but has nothing to do with SEO. More traffic is always good so to maximize traffic having a .COM gives you an advantage, but a .COM has no advantage over .NET or .ORG when it comes to ranking well in Google.
There are more myths out there! Feel free to share some myths you’ve heard or ask about something you think might be a myth. Comment and let your voice be heard!