One of the SEO factors that many website owners are confused about is whether their domain name helps or hinders them in trying to rank higher in Google’s rankings. One of the primary reasons for that confusion is the conflicting advice that gets written about domain names and how big a part they play in SEO.
There are several attributes that a domain name has which all contribute in varying degrees to how much it helps a website’s ranking. Some of these have a bigger impact than others, plus you also need to remember that just having an optimised domain name is no use if you have ignored all the other SEO factors.
Here are the main ones with a brief explanation of how Google views them.
Domain Age: This is the one that most often gets discussed with some of the view that it plays no part and others who will tell you to look for a domain name which is over 10 years old. While Google score older domains higher, the impact it will have on your ranking in comparison to how good your back-links and content are, is very small.
Exact Match Domain (EMD): If you were opening a poodle grooming parlour and went all out to find a domain name like ‘toppoodlegroomingparlour.com’ you’d boost your ranking score slightly, but whether the time, effort, and expense, if it were a premium domain, would be worth it, is questionable. More importantly, Google views EMDs with far more caution than they used to, and the days of an EMD being a free ticket to a top ranking for a keyword are long gone.