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Does Your Domain Name Impact SEO

Published on 9/19/2011 by


Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important factors in how well your website performs.  SEO is something you must keep in mind when building and maintaining your site.  But how important is your domain name and how does it impact SEO?

The four basic types of domain names

When it comes to domain names there are four basic types:

Branded domain names:  Branded domains appear to have no actual meaning of their own, but are represented in such a way that their name becomes synonymous with the services they provide.  Twitter.com and Amazon.com are examples of branded domain names.

Generic domain names:  Generic domains have a broad range of meaning, but may incorporate keywords, like WebHosting.com.

Geographical domain names:  Geographical domain names pinpoint a location within the domain, narrowing it down from being overly generic to location specific.  Names like USWebHosting.com or UKWebHosting.com are geographic domain names.

Combination domain names:  Combination domains are a mixture of either generic/branded domains or branded/geographical, such as SmithWebHosting.com or BestUSWebHosting.com.

Each of these types of domain names can have a different impact on how they’re viewed by search engines.

The relationship between backlinks and domain names

Search engine optimization is all about keywords.  When your keywords are used in your backlinks it can give you a leg up with search engines and the competition.  If my domain name is USWebHosting.com and I use the words US, United States and web hosting as keywords within my website text, each time a backlink is created using anchor text that also happens to be my domain name, my keywords are automatically part of that link.  This helps me to optimize my backlinks and search engine results and to fare better than say, a web hosting company named PurpleDeer.com.

Why it’s not just about the domain name

Companies like Amazon.com easily prove that even names which appear to have no actual meaning of their own can do extremely well.  It’s safe to say that Amazon.com does better with search engines than BessiesStore.com.  Why is that?  It’s all about keywords and branding.  Amazon has utilized their keywords well throughout their website, branded their domain name and created quality backlinks.  This is why building a successful website is about more than just the domain name.

So, does your domain name impact SEO?  It can, but it really all comes down to your keywords and how you use them in your website text and create backlinks.  As Amazon.com has shown us, branding your domain name and creating quality backlinks can make any domain name successful.