Keyword-Rich Domains Boost Rankings? No, Says Bing
A new post published on the Bing Webmaster Blog by Duane Forrester, a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft Bing, weighs in on the importance of having a web site domain name that is comprised of relevant keywords.
While Duane Forrester says that having a keyword rich domain name would provide a major boost over the competition around a decade ago, keyword rich domain names no longer have any significant influence on your search engine rankings today, despite what some SEO analysts might tell you.
Content Over Keyword-Rich Domains
One of the reasons why having a keyword-rich domain (in other words, a domain name that includes an exact match of the primary keyword for which you're trying to rank) isn't as important as it once was, according to Forrester, is that there are just so many new ranking factors that have been added to the mix since then. As a result, the keyword content of your domain exists as an increasingly small portion of the ranking pie.
According to Forrester, one of the worst mistakes you can make as a site owner is to think that having a keyword-rich domain is more important than, or an appropriate substitute for, on-site content that's actually interesting, valuable, and relevant to your niche. Doing so will not only sink your ranking with search engines, but turn off users who were expecting quality content based on your domain name as well. Expect a high bounce rate and low repeat visitor rate, in other words.
Keyword Rich Domains - Any Value At All?
So, is it worth your time and money to seek out a keyword-rich domain for your site, or are resources better spent elsewhere? As long as your main priority is the actual content of your site, there's certainly no harm is having a domain whose keywords match and represent your chosen niche. A good, catchy, keyword-rich domain name is easier for users to remember, not to mention easier to spell.
If all the keyword-rich domain names you'd choose for your site are taken, however, fear not. If your site provides enough value, it'll rank well and find success even if you invent a word for your domain. Just ask Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest, for starters.