8 Things to Consider When Buying a Domain for SEO

Starting a new site and want it to get nice targeted traffic without paying for it? Many companies aim for high search rankings as a primary traffic source. Optimizing for search engines involves many different methods with various time and money costs. Domains provide a cost-effective way to get that SEO edge to rank higher.

Here are some things to consider when you’re buying a domain for SEO purposes:

1. Exact keyword matching domains are the best

Many exact keyword matching domains are beating out larger, older, more authoritative competitors in the search engines. The biggest example is CreditCards.com, #1 above every credit card company, credit bureau and bank. Google even bolds the keywords in the domain

2. Stick with .com, .net, .org or the country-code TLD of the country you’re targeting (except .us)

Search engines tend to prefer the 3 most-established global extensions .com, .net and .org over all others. In countries like Germany and the UK, their country-code TLD is highly used and search engines give it preference. One big exception to that is .us due to most sites targeting the US being on .com, .net or .org.

3. Some domain age can help avoid sandboxing

Scammers and spammers often use new domains to make sure they can entice new victims. Seeing this, Google puts sites on new domains in the “sandbox”, essentially a broad penalty to make them hard to rank. Using a domain with some age (6 months or more) can help you avoid the frustrating sandbox.

4. Higher domain age can also provide some benefits

Using similar logic, Google sees a higher aged domain as more potential for a well-established, higher authority site. For this reason, higher aged domains get a general boost in rankability for any relevant keywords your site may rank for.

5. Partial keyword match in the domain is better than no match

If you can’t get an exact keyword matching .com, .net or .org for your term, consider adding a word onto it. Having a partial match still shows Google some relevance to the search term. The matching keywords in your domain would still be bolded for the search as well.

6. Target a valuable keyword

There’s no sense in going after high rankings for worthless keyword phrases. Exact match domains especially help you rank for terms with lots of traffic and/or high-value traffic. You can still rank for less valuable keywords with particular pages on your site.

7. Google pagerank and backlinks can help, but they can disappear too

Many companies/webmasters seek out domains with pagerank and backlinks, which can both help with SEO. Unlike exact keyword match and age however, pagerank and backlinks can vanish. If any links from high pagerank sites get removed, the pagerank won’t last much longer. Dropped domains are even riskier as they are more likely to lose their backlinks.

8. You’ll need to put up a site with quality content

It used to be that getting a good domain for SEO was all you needed. Now that Google’s Panda algorithm updates have hit poor quality sites, the domain alone isn’t enough. Make sure you have high quality content on your site to avoid getting Panda-related penalties.

At Domainate we specialize in exact keyword matching domains and aged domains. Getting the right domain for SEO will help you get the valuable targeted traffic you need. Contact us and we can help you get a domain that will help you scale the search engines.

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3 Comments on “8 Things to Consider When Buying a Domain for SEO”

  1. It is also important to note with regard to domains that you should purchase your domain for at least 2 to 3 years. Google does not like domains that are only purchased for a year. They will also penalize you if your domain is about to expire.

    • Sharon Hayes says:

      Thanks for your comment. From my knowledge, both of the things you mentioned are myths.

      What is your source of information? Matt Cutts as recently as early this year – said on video that the number of years a domain was registered for made no impact. We’ve gotten and maintained competitive rankings for us and for clients and never registered more than a year at a time and don’t renew typically until 4-6 weeks before expiration date.

  2. Sharon Hayes says:

    Reblogged this on Sharon Hayes Dot Com.


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