John Mueller Says Domain Names Do Not Need Keywords
John Mueller of Google has stated that website owners and their SEO agencies do not need to put keywords in a domain name. This is because local SEO agencies or webmasters that do this will not see any significant benefits.
The topic was discussed in one of the latest videos from Ask Google Webmasters. One of the questions featured in the video was about top-level domains or keyword-based domain extensions.
Here is the original question that was sent in: “Does a .jobs domain improve ranking in Google for jobs”?
Mueller responded to the question by first addressing keywords in top-level domains or TLDs and keywords that are placed in domains. To put it briefly, he said that the website would not get any notable rankings bonuses if they put the keyword “.jobs” in their TLDs.
The Google Webmaster Trends Analyst added that most websites appearing in the top searches do not contain keywords at the end of their domain names. More often than not, keywords are not even placed in the URL at all.
He continued explaining that domain names with a keyword like “jobs” do not help a website rank better for that same keyword. Mueller added that an online site with a keyword in its domain name would also not be more relevant than other websites that do not have this keyword in their domain names.
Mueller’s statements notably contradict several studies about ranking factors, which claim that it is beneficial for local SEO agencies and website owners to include keywords in their domain names.
However, the official messaging of Google says otherwise. According to the search engine giant, keywords in a domain will never guarantee the relevancy of a website for searches using that keyword. This messaging remains consistent for several years up to this date.
Moreover, Mueller said that using this technique is not efficient, and it may even do the website more harm than good. Website owners who placed keywords in their TLDs may find it hard to focus on a different niche because they will have to continue making content that is relevant to the keyword in their domain name.
According to Mueller, business owners today must be practical when it comes to their websites. Their businesses can evolve as time goes by, and they will have difficulties moving domains with a keyword in their TLDs.
His advice: website owners must always choose a domain name that can be used in the long term and not necessarily one that matches the products and services they are currently offering.
Mueller advised professional SEO agencies and webmasters to instead spend more effort on building an online site that will prove valuable for their clients in the long run. He said that this is much more effective than worrying and overthinking about which domain name or TLD name to use.
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