Google has advised SEOs that including keywords in a domain name offers no search ranking benefits and instead urged brands to build a site that can be used “for the long run”.
Google’s resident search expert John Mueller touched on the subject of keyword-based domain extensions during an Ask Google Webmasters video this week.
He was asked whether keywords in domain names can lead to an improvement in SERPs for job-related searches and queries.
Mueller said that this was a “really common question” and that “in short, no”, there is not a bonus for including keywords in top-level domains (TLDs) and domains in general.
He added: “I’d venture a guess that the top results don’t have those keywords as a domain ending. Often it’s not even in the URL at all. That’s by design.”
Mueller went on to say that keywords located anywhere in a URL will not lead to an improvement in site rankings for that particular keyword.
He said that using keywords in this way was not needed and could even be disadvantageous if a site wanted to explore a different niche in the future.
For example, a brand with a domain name of ‘bestbluewidgets’ may struggle to attract custom if it needs to sell different widgets or other products entirely.
Mueller said that it is natural for businesses to evolve over time and urged them to select a domain name that enables them to pivot to potential new offerings at a later date.
He concluded the video by stating that a domain name that can be used years from now is more important than attempting to select a domain with the right keywords.
An extension of this long-term mindset is web copy and content, which can be crafted to a high quality and tailored for different topics and keywords whenever a business chooses.