There’s been talk about how keyword domains are no longer as strong an SEO signal as they once were and how they’re being weighed less and less by Google because of the high-spam factor.
If the gossip is to be believed, at some point domains will no longer be a ranking factor.
I’m here to tell you to not believe the hype. Keyword rich, partial-match, or exact match domains still matter in SEO. I won’t get too deep into the details, but I will say that I created relatively new website where the majority of the on-page copy is optimized toward one particular keyword (primary). The new site also has a keyword-rich domain name which we’ll call keyword2 (secondary).
Over the last two months, I’ve pushed out pages and pages and pages of content all optimized and linked to one another using primary + modifiers (with a smattering of secondary here and there).
After pulling a couple rank reports over the last two weeks. Not surprisingly, I’ve found that I’ve made some headway against the primary keyword, but the surprise is how much traction I’ve made on the secondary keyword, which was pretty much an afterthought. On top of that, there was another keyword that I peppered into the content, and those phrases aren’t nearly as successful on the SERPs.
Of course, there’s a variety of reasons why this could be the case, not of least which the questionable science behind this test, the relatively small data sample, and competition, but I’ve been around SEO for a while to know this isn’t coincidental pattern. I am convinced that keyword and partial match domains still have a moderate to strong influence and will give you a boost, no matter what we’ve been told.
As always, you still have to have the content and user experience to back it up.