BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Keyword URLs A Thing Of The Past? We Called It….

October 5, 2012

We called it.  Keyword rich domains are soon to be a thing of the past, or at least the notch has been turned down on rankings anyway.

I speak to many a business each week and every so often the old favorite comes up – “My URL is keyword rich so I don’t understand why I’m not ranking.”  Of course I chat to them about all the other reasons they’re not ranking, but it’s good to discuss the reasons when a keyword rich URL comes in handy and when it doesn’t.

Since last week, Google turned down the knob somewhat for these types of addresses.  A few years ago, they received quite a few complaints that these URLs seemed to be getting favored by the engine and an eyebrow or two was raised.  They openly admitted that perhaps something could be done and in the bigger picture, a new signal was introduced.

People love branding.  So keyword rich URLs should really be seen as that, they can also be used to describe in brief, what you do.  You’ve probably searched ‘Attorney in <my local area>’ and found come up on page 1, in fact…go do it now!  It’s handy to grab people’s attention, but it can also backfire.  You’re enticing people to come through on a certain authoritative level, having a URL like that is almost like having the phone number 777-7777, it’s seen as a premium…

Basically you’re saying:

‘I got in there first and claimed this URL, so I’m savvy and smart’


‘I paid thousands for this URL, I must be good’


‘We’ve been in business the longest, come to us, we’re the best’

But again, all too often, clicking through to these URLs can lead to disappointment.  If your URL promotes premium and dominance, make sure your website does too!  It’s a given that you’ll get floods of traffic just from the name alone, so use it to your advantage.  Snare people in with your shiny name and description, then open the flood gates on content that will make their eyes burst, that will have them returning, sharing, phoning, emailing.  It’s there for the taking.

Keeping up to date with your audience? Good authoritative links? User stats look good? Then you shouldn’t be affected that much.  If not – check back again in a month or two on that URL I told you to earlier, you may notice it might not be where it was when you first checked.  I’ve got my beady eye on one particular domain here in San Diego, just as an experiment.

Personally, Im always a little impressed if someone calls and they have the hold over a fantastic industry keyword.  Good for them.  You’ve got what a lot of people would pay thousands for.  Just make good use of it and the rest, will surely come.