As SEO consultants and experts, we are all bowing down to the great Google God, and I’m sure like most are frequently pontificating how Google’s next update will effect your rankings. Google have recently in February incorporated a necessary update which has focussed a lot on poor quality sites and squeezed them out of the search results, therefore relegating them to SERP obscurity.
There is one important future change that you may want to take on board if you’re thinking of buying or acquiring a new domain. The word on the street from Matt Cutts (described in a recent video blog) is that Google are taking a closer look at domain names that are laden with keyword targets – keyword rich domains. He explains that it may in the future be better to opt for a brand based domain name to stand out from the crowd, as oppose to a keyword based domain like www.leavemysitealone.com, for example.
When it comes to link popularity for keyword rich domains, its easy to see where the sites benefit – the anchor text and natural links will not just contain the keywords, but keeping it natural and back linking using the domain name (especially from relevant sites) carries a lot of weight in the algorithm. To implement this, Google would have to de-valuate the weight of keyword focused anchor text, and this could hurt a lot of sites rankings, and leave a few red faced SEO analysts.
Rob Wells, Head of Search at Rankability says “Domain names freighted with keywords do currently have an advantage over non keyword domains and this would be a welcome change.” He goes on to say that “Google’s on going ambition to create a perfect search algorithm fascinates us all within the industry, but if you are employing solid link baiting & link building techniques from relevant sites – a core strategy for any successful SEO company, there’s really no need to press the panic button just yet!”
The difficulty competing sometimes with the big brand names is that they often have huge advertising budgets for TV, radio and online. These companies are more talked about, written about and sometimes disliked, so it’s a lot easier for them to gain a higher number of natural and relevant links. How can you compete with that with a small budget if you are a start up website. Simple you can’t, and that’s the reason keyword rich domains come in handy – a sure fire way of the smaller fish being able to swim with the big fish. Now it looks as though the smaller minnows will be left down stream with that slow sinking feeling! We’ll all have to wait and see what happens.
Remember to alter your clocks forward this weekend – a crucial change if you want to keep up and stay one step ahead of the competition.