Great question. How does a domain name affect your Search Engine rankings? What actually contributes to the value of a domain name? Let’s take a look.
1. Type-in Traffic Years ago, many people didn’t understand the difference between the URL (Uniform Resource Locater) or address of the actual website and the search window in Google. One goes directly to a particular website, like the address of a house. The other is an actual search. So people would just type in what they were looking for in the *address* field…i.e. “new shoes”. This is called type-in traffic.
This meant that if you were lucky enough to buy a domain like “newshoes.com” for around $7.00 per year, you would automatically receive a respectable amount of traffic to that domain…type-in traffic. This would make the domain valuable, as it could be parked or used for an ecommerce shoe store…traffic equals money.
It is 2010 now, people are more savvy. More people use the search window and they know that it is a search window. So, type-in traffic has diminished, not to mention that everyone is hip to domain ownership, any ones with any value have been bought up. Goddaddy.com even buys domains they feel will have high traffic and resells them to you and me at a premium price, this is a premium domain. By the way, they will quickly settle for 70% of the asking price if asked. Type-in traffic isn’t what it used to be and domains are more expensive.
Does it matter? The short answer is “not much”. Content is still king. Google works very hard to return relevant, high-quality results for it visitors. Look at Facebook.com, Google.com, yahoo.com, the Premium-Domain-Broker can be anything. Can it help? Absolutely. If your domain contains your keywords you will get a little more love from Google and the search engines, but will it make or break your website? No. Shorter is better, descriptive is better. I recommend considering buying a premium domain, it is a good start.
Domain name traffic Listen, I have owned a lot of domains, upwards of 450 at one point. I have purchased premium domains, acted as a domain broker for my clients, parked domains at different domain parking services like sedo.com, parked.com and many others. I have struggled to optimize over 150 landing pages in an effort to make a passive income…all with not much success, except learning a lot about how domains work.