Google continues to emphasize that keywords in domains do nothing for SEO

Domains SEO

For years now Google has been sending a clear message when it comes to the role that domain names play in their ranking algorithm, in short, it doesn’t. Recently Google’s John Muller continued to emphasize this message and expanded it to cover new gTLDs:

“This is a really common question that comes up for the new top-level domains.

In short, no. You don’t get a special bonus like that from having a keyword in your top-level domain.

Anecdotally you can see that by searching naturally for anything that interests you.

I’d venture a guess that the top results don’t have those keywords as a domain ending. Often it’s not even in the URL at all. That’s by design.”

(Source – Search Engine Journal)

John actually answered this questions specifically about the .JOBS TLD and recorded a whole video about it. So if you feel like hearing this directly from John, here ya’ go:

What I think always gets missed in these conversations is the fact that one factor that Google does look at in their ranking algorithm is how many time people click on a site when it comes up in their search results. I think (and I know I’m not alone here!) that people are more likely to click on a strong, meaningful domain than a junky one.

So, just throwing this out there – if a good domain gets your site more clicks when it comes up in search…and if Google ranks your site higher if more people click on it, then I think there’s a point to be made that a good domain certainly does help you in search.

But that’s just my two cents, what do you think?

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Michele September 24, 2020, 2:19 am

    I think Google should stop advising us how to use domains.

    I’ve never liked hearing again and again from them that words don’t matter, when I know that I tend to associate a site with the relevant keywords of its domain if it contains them. Likewise, when I see a domain containing keywords, I have certain expectations of it — and if they’re fulfilled when I visit the site, then I’m more likely to remember that too. So I agree with your point about good domains.

  • Michael Anthony Castello September 24, 2020, 2:31 am

    It’s been obvious to me for a very long time that domain names are competition to Google’s rein of content search and traffic manipulation. Direct Navigation doesn’t help Google, it ignores Google.

    • John September 24, 2020, 6:05 am

      Thanks for commenting on this, Michael. Regardless of how you may feel about me, there are times when I really appreciate and enjoy your comments and their value.

    • Mark Thorpe September 24, 2020, 12:11 pm

      Well said, Michael.

  • John September 24, 2020, 6:04 am

    Google is evil, plain and simple, and the #1 enemy of domain names and “the little guy” on the planet. But there are others. And Google practices its evil in bed with certain elements of “government.”

    “Trump administration moves toward antitrust action against Google”

    Also note: things like censorship and suppression of speech going on are NOT just against conservatives and the “right”; that is also in full swing against the real (not fake) “left” which the “establishment” – and most notably and especially the “fake left” neoliberal establishment, which people constantly refer to and think of erroneously as “the left” – hates, opposes and suppresses FAR more than they do conservatives and the “right.” In fact, the “fake left” and the “right” are completely united and in bed together about what they really care about, contrary to the false distracting left/right divide.

    And Google and other big tech social media monopolies are some of the biggest parts of that “fake left” neoliberal establishment, acting in bed with certain elements of “government.”

    For the record, I also regard our host Morgan here to be 99.999999% certain to be a card carrying standard member of that same neoliberal “fake left” side of the false left/right paradigm.

    Take special note: does anyone think I’m commenting about this as a Republican or Trump supporter? Think again. Then think again.

    We can only hope that the new antitrust action underway will be genuine and worth something, but if history is any guide, sadly probably not…

  • Anonymous September 25, 2020, 12:52 am

    I can personally tell you Google talks out of both sides of their mouth. I took my exact match domain and conducted a test of my own after being inspired by Microsoft “Domain Bios” study. I completely copied 3 articles (no edits) and pasted it on my EMD. I already get type-in traffic so I didn’t care about Google. Two of these posts I rankee on Google’s search engine 1st and 2nd page for. I also got approved for adsense when most of my website was copy and paste. I create my own content now just because I love the subject but I wouldn’t put too much weight on what they have to say. This test I conducted was this year by the way.

  • Anonymous September 25, 2020, 12:54 am

    *Domain Bias

  • Elimam September 28, 2020, 1:49 pm

    Domain names are meant to be comprehensible to people and not Google bots.
    wether a descriptive domain helps with SEO or not, is irrelevant.
    otherwise we could just use IP addresses and not bother with domain names.


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