Domain Names do not Need Keywords for Ranking


Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller in his latest Ask Google Webmasters video revealed that there is no ranking benefit associated with having keywords in a domain name. Keyword based domain extensions also known as top level domains (TLDs) offer no ranking benefit according to John.

This contradicts many studies and surveys which indicates that having keywords in the domain helps in ranking. Mueller specifically mentions in the video that a keyword in a domain name will not help a site rank better for that keyword. This is what he said, “Just because a website has a keyword in its domain name doesn’t mean that it’s more relevant than others for that keyword. In short, you don’t need to put keywords in the domain name.”

He even further went on to mention that using a keyword in a domain may put the site at a disadvantage. He states that it will be difficult for any particular site to shift to a different niche if they have a specific keyword in their domain.

Mueller said, “From a practical point of view, it’s worth also keeping in mind that businesses evolve over time, and moving domains is hard. So it often makes sense to pick a domain name that you can use for the long run and not necessarily one that just matches what you’re offering today. For example, if you focus on making awesome blue widgets, and build your website on, what do you do when you start offering red widgets?”

Planning for the long haul is the key here. Choosing a domain name which can be used universally, irrespective how the business changes itself. It is absolutely unnecessary to worry about your site’s domain name and whether it will help you to rank for a specific keyword or not.

In John’s words, “So instead of spending too much time on the domain name, or the top-level domain name, focus instead on building a site that you can continue to use for the long run.”

You can watch the full video here:

Back To Top