I got an email from Brandon Na of Seattle Organic SEO saying there appears to be a significant change to Google’s algorithm where they don’t appear to give you as much value for the keywords in your domain name.
It had long been held that having your keyword in your domain name is a quick and easy way to rank for the keyword or phase that you want. However, that may no longer be the case. Below is Brandon’s email on the matter.
This past month, a number of sites have been dropping in their rankings despite a long history of ranking high for their keyword phrases. The reason appears to be a significant change in Google’s algorithm (which is not 100% confirmed, but it very much appears that this has happened) where they don’t appear to give you as much value for the keywords in your domain name. For many years, they would give you more credit for something like this:
Searches for “Car Insurance” because you owned Insurance.com (which by the way, a company paid a reported $14-17 million for the domain name; probably regretting this one now).
This is definitely why it’s VERY important to SEO the other elements that Google has in their algorithm like backlinks with great anchor text to your site, other on-page elements and having honestly a great overall SEO strategy that can get you through these unexpected and unplanned painful updates.
Honestly, it should of been this way from the beginning, but that’s why we have lots of opportunity right now. A lot of what Google and the many other Search opportunities in Mobile applications, WordPress plugin searches and the many places where we search including Facebook are mostly broken or not refined. People are “looking” and “trying to find” you, but if you’re not there, they’ll call or fill out a form with your competitor.
You’ll be happy to know that a search for John Chow still has johnchow.com at the #1 spot. 🙂