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How do you choose the right domain name for a website? - Choose the right domain nameDaniel here with a quick word on domain names and extensions.

Should you choose exact match or partial match domain names? The Google 2012 algorithm basically killed off results for exact match but this doesn’t mean you can’t still use it!

The Basics

After you have finally decided on a keyword for a new site you then need to choose the correct domain name and extension.  Even though there has been much to do about ‘exact match’ domain names lately, especially after the 2012 algorithm from Google (which basically killed EMD ranking) I still believe (for the time being) that the best possible domain name is still an ‘exact match’ (or variation) to the keyword you have chosen and if the site is primarily niche or sales, the extensions com or co uk are still the preferred options.

As an example of choosing the right domain name, I will use the keyword; ‘tractors’ for a sales site for the UK (so I’m needing a co uk extension.  So when I go to any domain name registry site, I can see that for using the keyword ‘tractors’, the preferred extension (co uk) is already taken:

WebMorf - Buying a domain name

However, many others are still available. I don’t know if anybody has ever done a full side-by-side comparison on different extensions using the same keyword phrase and using identical SEO methods to check the effectiveness of the different extensions, but in the past, I have found that the newer extensions do not easily rank as highly as the original com, co uk, org and net ones.

Obviously org and ac uk are very effective ranking extensions but not always suited to a sales site.

If the extension of choice is already taken, there are two main options:

  1. Change the keyword
  2. Change the extension

Even though all the other extensions are available, for a sales site, if I really didn’t want to deviate from the extensions com or co uk, I would probably just add a prefix to the keyword, such as ‘superior’ or ‘quality’, or a suffix such as ‘gallery’ or ‘album’.

If I go back to the domain checker, using the prefix; ‘superior’, I see that all possible extensions are now available…

WebMorf - choosing a domain name

So, quick recap… exact match domains (EMD’s) used to give a great SEO boost but this is not quite the case now… at least not with Google after the 2012 algorithm, which knocked the EMD SEO boost on the head but not all search engines are Google!!

Note once again… Google is not the only search engine and many others do still use exact match and especially partial match (PMD) in their results rankings.

Note: The 2012 algorithm was not to kill exact match domain names off… it was to try and combat the spam that came about from this SEO potential.



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