A lot of people in the SEO world are saying that exact match domains are losing their weight in the search engines by the minute. The whole shebang of algorithm updates and updates like the “May Day” update of 2010 and the “Penguin” update are leaning towards pushing this metric out and giving the edge to new types of social signals that have been integrated into the search engines bots like the “Google plus one” feature.
That being said, exact match domains still play a relatively large role in the search algorithms. If you do any search right now, chances are that you are going to see that exact match keyword somewhere ranked on the first page of the SERPs if it isn’t already in the top 5 results (and you will also see a lot of results with the keyword in the URL structure as well).
And even if you don’t see an “exact match” domain, you will still see a lot of domains with at least one of the keywords of the search query in the domain. e.g. if you search SEO – you will see seomoz.org (as well as some other websites with the keyword in the domain).
Brand VS Exact Match
Google really tries to push the brand types of domain names out there. This is because they really don’t like giving people the opportunity to take advantage of their system. And that’s what the exact match domain currently does – allows people to “hack” their way into the top of the search engine rankings.
Now this may be a lot less prevalent in niches that are extremely competitive. You really aren’t going to be able to rely on an exact match domain to get you too high in the SERPs if the competition is really up there – it just isn’t going to happen.
That being said exact match domains still, to this day, carry a lot of weight for keyword phrases that have low to medium competition.
- Are the sites at the top of the SERPs having low page rank and Alexa rank?
- Are the domain names for that keyword phrase largely available?
- Is the keyword phrase 16 characters or less?
- Is the keyword phrase location specific (e.g. local businesses)
In fact the local business niche is one where the exact match domain name is still highly advantages. That is because there is no other keyword phrase in the world like it. It is a very valuable keyword phrase because each searcher is potentially worth thousands of dollars, yet the keyword is only valuable to a particular location. City service keyword phrases are a great investment for domain names. Even if you decide never to build them out, there will always be business owners will to pay big cash for the advantages that a domain name like it possesses.
But you don’t have to be in the local business industry For example, “pro tools tutorial” would be a great keyword phrase (in fact many keyword phrases with the word “tutorial” tagged on it are great)s as the competition is low enough to where you can spend marginal time each day to get that website to rank.
Obtaining exact match domains is still a great tactic. You just have to make sure that it makes sense to do so. A good rule of thumb: Anything over 16 characters is iffy. Don’t bother with anything over 20 characters