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Old 15th April 2011, 06:28 PM
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Re: Interesting SEO thread on

Tim is right, when comparing exact match domains in the SERPs, SEOMoz has found that dot com was favored the most :

I don't see this changing as long as dot com remains the TLD of choice for quality websites. Please let's all do what the Snows do when selling to end users : have them develop the domain within a few months. This is good for everyone.

Now to answer Alpha's Q :
then the benefit of exact match might go before we can even leverage it.

The answer I think is no, it will never go, at least in the foreseeable future. Firstly, have a look at Cutts video where he (tries to) explains how keywords domains are treated by the algo. Unconvincing explanation at best.

Secondly, (555 you'll like this one )and I think this is the most interesting argument because I don't see it often, I think Google has evolved to a point where it is forced to rank exact match domains (dot coms at least) well if they have reasonable content and inbound links, etc. Why ? Because a lot of people use Google to direct navigate now. They type a query but know in advance what link they are going to click on. This means that if you have "Trading Stocks dot com", at one point Google will have to rank you well for "trading stocks" because it just doesn't know if you as a user are looking for tradingstocksdotcom or something else. I'm exaggerating here, Google most certainly monitors CTR as part of their algo but you get my point. If you have a cool website on an exact match, you'll forever benefit from this grey area where G can't know for sure if the current user is direct navigating or not.. (To make it even more complicated, a user not intending to direct navigate making a query for "trading stocks" will most probably click on tradingstocksdotcom if he sees it in the SERPs.. )

To emphasize my point, let's just think about all the SEOs currently evangilizing the power of "brands", brand this, brand that, brands rank, you must become a brand etc.. I think this is symptomatic, in part, of the direct navigation pattern discussed previously (and reported by TechCrunch by the way, I didnt make that up). SEOs emphasis on brands (good website, Social presence, Twitter account, followers etc.) is their way of showing Google that they have mindshare and are worthy of the top spots.

Exact match domains have that inherent "mindshare".. very difficult for Google to deny that as long as quality content is there too.
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