Exact Match Domain Names For SEO – What You Should Know

If you hadn’t heard Google came out recently with a new update to their algorithm (they seem to be doing this once a week) that affected exact match domain names.

I have always been a strong advocate for exact match domains because up until this last update, Google gave undue advantage to them in the search results.

All you had to do is have a domain name that matched a phrase people would search on google and you would rank for that phrase.

With their most recent update Google decided to remove this advantage. So what does it mean for you?

The reason having an exact match domain was so powerful is because Google was trying to make sure that if a person was searching for a specific company (ie Amazon.com) that company’s website would be the first result. So I would go to Google and search “Amazon” and amazon.com would show up as the top result.

The problem has always been that they have been unable to differentiate between company names and random domain names. So if I owned www.realestate.com and someone searched “real estate” Google would assume they were searching for my website and that it must be my company name.

This is how exact match domains came to be so popular. People would buy up the .com, .net, .org, .biz, .co and .info of key phrases that are highly searched and they would be ranked quickly in the search engines.

Now Google has taken away that advantage. They really scrutinize a website just like they do non-exact match domains and don’t automatically have them show in the rankings. They want to see good natural links and good content on the site to be considered to show on page 1.

So it seems that it is much like the way they treat all other domains. The playing field has been leveled…or has it?

Google still gives extra weight to an exact match domain. They still can’t differentiate between the name of a business and a keyphrase rich domain. They want to provide the best results to their users so what they are doing is assuming that if someone is searching for a business, the business website will have plenty of content and good links pointing to their site that include their business name as the anchor text.

So if you own an exact match domain, the way you make it still rank high in the search engines is to point links to it that have your exact match phrase as the anchor. Do a ton of those. Google won’t penalize you if your links are all simply the name of your website, just like they wouldn’t punish Nike.com for getting a ton of links that have “Nike” as the anchor text.

When you seek out an exact match domain one thing that I always do is I will go and search that key phrase and see if there is already an exact match domain at the top of Google. If there is it will most likely be very difficult for you to get to the top 5 for that phrase. Google has already given authority status to the other exact match domain.

If you don’t see nother domain there that matches then you are good to go. I recently took a brand new exact match domain (it is a .biz) and got it to #1 for its phrase in less than 4 months. Here is the kicker, the site only has 4 or 5 pages with minimal content and I haven’t added any content since the original design. All I have done is get links to the site. It does still work, even with a .biz.

Cool Website For Sale

I know I have been negative toward flippa especially when it comes to selling websites.

But the more I look at the site I do think more people are using the site both players and spammers so there are some good sites on the site to buy if you know where to look.

I came across this website for sale on flippa: twitterfollowers.com. The price right now is $42,000 (you can see the auction here). Why is the price so high? This is a really good exact match domain.

Exact match means the domain is an exact phrase people are going to search for on Google. Google seems to give preference in their rankings if you have a domain that matches exactly what the person searched. And with the rising popularity of Twitter this domain has a lot of earning potential over the long term.

I don’t usually buy websites just for the domain unless it is a good exact match. I am usually more interested in the websites age, how many links it has and if it currently has any rankings. But a good exact match domain can be a quick way into a competitive industry and with this domain for sale (twitterfollowers.com) People would automatically recognize it as an authority because of the domain.

Now I personally have no interest in running a website like this but I thought I would share it with you so you can see an example of what is out on the website flipping market right now.

How To Buy An Existing Domain Name

Buying an Existing Domain


If the domain you want is already taken, there’s a good chance that you can buy that domain from the owner.  Again, I don’t mean going to a domain registrar like Actnowdomains.com and registering a new, never before registered domain. This is something you should and will do most of the time. I mean buying a domain name that someone else has registered but they are selling the name.

If, when you go to the domain, there isn’t a live site you can go to www.whois.net and find out the owners contact information and then contact them directly about buying the domain.

Sometimes you will type in a domain name into a browser and then see a live website but in reality it is just a parked page and there actually will be a link on the page that says “This Domain Might Be For Sale”. You can click on that link and then make an offer on the domain. You may or may not get a response but this is how I purchased my last domain.

Advantages to Buying an Existing Domain

I see two main advantages to purchasing an already existing domain. First, if your heart is set on a certain name and you don’t think that you can do business with any other name then you should try to buy the domain name from whoever owns it.

The second reason to buy an existing domain name is to take advantage of any previous link popularity the domain has. Many domains that are up for sale used to be active websites that were promoted by their webmasters.  Many of these old websites obtained many links pointing to their site and although the site has since shut down, the links remain. That leaves the opportunity for you to build a new website and take advantage of the old links pointing to that domain. Keep in mind that you need to put up a new site that is similar in nature to the previous website or the links will hold little to no value to you.

Use the Yahoo link feature I explained in step 9 of the section “Buying an Existing Website” to check if a domain has links pointing to it.

Resources:

Here is a list of some good websites to buy or sell domain names.

http://www.buydomains.com has hundreds of prime domains for sale.

http://www.afternic.com another good list of domains for sale.

http://www.sedo.com has a big selection of domains as well.

http://www.tdnam.com is a good place to find a very large selection of domain names for sale at a cheap price.

How To Start A Website – A Step By Step Guide


I have decided to put together some simple, easy to follow tutorials on starting a website from buying a domain to getting web hosting all the way to getting WordPress installed on your site. I hope these can be a real help to those of you who are beginners in the internet marketing world.

Check out the series links below to get everything you need to get started in the internet marketing world.

Buying An Existing Domain Name – Get Traffic Faster

When buying a domain name I recommend always trying to get a .com name. People naturally see the .com website as the authority and if they are typing in your web address they will often type .com out of habit.  You can still be very successful buying a .net or .org domain name, I just recommend getting a .com.

There are 3 reasons you should consider buying an existing domain name. I don’t mean going to a domain registrar like Actnowdomains.com and registering a new never before registered domain. This is something you should and will do most of the time. I mean buying a domain name that someone else has registered but they are selling the name.

First, if your heart is set on a certain name and you don’t think that you can do business with any other name then you should try to buy the domain name from whoever owns it.

The second reason to buy an existing domain name is to take advantage of any previous link popularity the domain has. Many domains that are up for sale used to be active websites that were promoted by their webmasters. Many of these old websites obtained many links pointing to their site and although the site has since shut down the links remain. That leaves the opportunity for you to build a new website and take advantage of the old links pointing to that domain. Keep in mind that you need to put up a new site that is similar in nature to the previous website or the links will hold little to no value to you.

Use the Yahoo link feature I explained in step 9 of the Buying A Website Part 1 to check if a domain has links pointing to it.

Thirdly, one of the quirks in the Google algorithm is that if someone searches for exactly what your domain name is, you have a very good chance of ranking for that term with out doing a lot of SEO for it.

For example, if you do a Google search for “buy domains” the website buydomains.com is the first listed site. Google makes the assumption that when you search a key phrase and there is a website who’s domain name matches the exact phrase you searched, they assume you were searching for that specific company. So you can buy domain names that are highly searched key phrases and get ranked fairly easily for those phrases. This is a great way to get traffic to your website quickly.

Keep in mind that Google at anytime can change their algorithm and this could no longer be an effective technique so there is risk involved if you are spending a lot of money for a domain. Having said that I recently spent $800 on a domain because it is a good search term that would bring very targeted visitors for what I am offering. After a month or so I am now #4 on Google for the name and the site is getting good traffic.

You can Google’s key phrase search tool and find some commonly searched terms. Then go see if any of the domains that match those key phrases are available for sale.

Many times you will actually have to just go to a browser and type in www.keyphrase.com to see if there is a site up or not. If there isn’t you can go to www.whois.net and find out the owners contact information and then contact them directly about buying the domain.

Sometimes you will type in a domain name into a browser and then see a live website but in reality it is just a parked page and there actually will be a link on the page that says “This Domain Might Be For Sale”. You can click on that link and then make an offer on the domain. You may or may not get a response but this is how I purchased my last domain.

Here is a list of some good websites to buy or sell domain names.

http://www.buydomains.com has hundreds of prime domains for sale.

http://www.afternic.com another good list of domains for sale

http://www.sedo.com has a big selection of domains as well.

http://www.tdnam.com is a good place to find a very large selection of domain names for sale at a cheap price.