The Complete Idiot's Guide

Growing Your Business With Google
By Dave Taylor

Does domain name affect search engine ranking?

Dave, does your domain name impact your SERPS (search engine results placement)? That is,if you use a nonsense name, will it negatively impact your search engine ranking? Would "" rank better than "" for the query "best search engine"?

There are hundreds of different variables that modern search engines consider when determining which of the thousands - or millions - of results should be presented in the top slots, one of which is definitely the domain name of the site.

Other variables include the age of the domain registration, the last time the DNS record was changed, how recently the page was changed, how many other pages point to the page in question, how those other pages link to the page, whether the words in question appear in the title of the page, in a header, how frequently the key word or words appear in the text, and on and on and on.

Indeed, we don't actually know the exact formula and there's an entire industry of people trying their very best to figure it out and then remarket the specific tactics and layout suggested by their experimental data (and guesses). They're Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) and ...

Article continues at: Does Your Domain Name Affect Your Search Engine Results?

Category: Google Q&A   (Article #5853)

Can you suggest whether I can use two domains for the same site. I want to have a site with and .us and will use same site in 3 copies. Is it legal.

Posted by: Rajesh at September 17, 2006 1:17 PM

Great question, Rajesh. I would suggest that you cannot, or at least should not have the same content under more than one URL. The problem is what Google calls a "duplicate content penalty". In a nutshell, don't have the same content accessible through more than one Web page address, whether it be different domains or just different pages on the same domain.

Posted by: Dave Taylor at September 17, 2006 2:02 PM

What about purchasing another domain and simply redirecting it to the original location of my content?

Posted by: Michael at March 1, 2007 8:20 AM

Michael, that can be a viable solution, but you need to ensure that you don't get into a situation where you have the same page of content accessible through more than one URL. That is, if you have, say, as your existing domain and also want to have, you need to make sure that you use what's called a 301 redirect so that when people -- and search engines -- go to they are redirected to properly.

Posted by: Dave Taylor at March 1, 2007 9:12 AM

But will having multiple domain names redirecting to a single website actually affect search engine results? For example if I have brand name as the main domain name but point to it with several domain names that have keywords in them, will this help with organic search results?

Posted by: Sam at April 20, 2007 9:24 PM

if you 301 redirect to all links pointing to will count as links to
so if you hade 5 page rank 3 links to domain1 and 5 page rank 3 links to domain 2 and you 301'd it would be the same as if
you just had 10 page rank 3 links going to domain 2

Posted by: chris at January 7, 2009 12:07 PM

I have a blogger blog and have never purchased a domain name, so my name is very long. I am concerned with losing seo. I was thinking of doing a redirect from my old name to a new simple address. Do you thing this is the best way to go? Will my seo get affected?

Posted by: Gina at February 7, 2009 8:59 AM

Will a domain name with the keywords separated by hyphens work as well as one without?

Posted by: samuel at April 26, 2009 7:47 PM

It is generally accepted that .com, .net and .org are the best three domain suffix's/ Will having a .us or .biz or .info decrease its ranking in the search engines or not. What's the main reason why .com, .net, and .org are the best?

Posted by: charles at June 24, 2010 11:07 PM

I don't think that the .com or .net domains are inherently better, I think it's more a factor that most of them have just been around for longer and have more content on their sites.

Posted by: Dave Taylor at June 24, 2010 11:12 PM

Dav, I have a domain which was made on the basis of Textile Engineering. But unfortunately there was a problem of indexing on that domain. So i made a subdomain and blogging over there.

Now the main domain is fixed and start to blog on the main domain as it is DMOZ listed and have PR3.

I would like to blog about Domain & hosting related topics there but the domain is related to textile and have a textile related keywords there.

What should I do now? Can i use that domain to blog about non-textile related topics? Will i have any problem with Google or SEO?


Posted by: Shamim at July 16, 2010 3:50 AM

I would say that you'll have no problems at all blogging about topic X on a domain that's about an unrelated keyword. If it's confusing to readers that might be an issue (like "best-life-insurance" being about knitting patterns) but otherwise Google will just evaluate each page based on its usual criteria. Good luck!

Posted by: Dave Taylor at July 16, 2010 7:16 PM

My co-author and I are setting up a web site. The problem is there is two of us, we co-author cozy mysteries, and seperately publish other books. Suggestions for a simple web name?
Could we have 2 web names that will direct to the one home page?

Posted by: Flo Clowes at March 21, 2011 12:25 PM

Hey Dave-I am trying to improve my web store rankings on Google. Someone suggested purchasing approximately 100 domain names which we would redirect to our web store, and if those domain names included important keywords, then it would improve our rankings. Would this truly be effective?

Posted by: Julie at April 12, 2011 11:40 AM

I was wondering the same thing... I have a website offering my wedding photography services which is a PR3, but the domain name is my own first and last name. It does still show up highly ranked in google placement with some keywords, however there is a lot of competition with one specific keyword search which I have found that the exact match domain name is available for, so I was thinking about buying this domain name and redirecting it to my already established website, but then I couldn't help but to wonder if since there would be multiple domain names pointing to one website with the same content if google would think of this as not original content, or if they would just know that it's one website with a couple domain names pointing to it. My hope isn't to increase page rank with the new domain since I can do this well enough without it, my hope is to tap into a more competitive keyword search, and I though by having this new domain name it would help to achieve this. However if this would be looked at as duplicate content, I suppose I could just use the new domain name on a blog or something and then link the blog back to my website on its homepage and blog posts.

Posted by: Phillip Brunelle at June 25, 2011 8:53 PM

does hyphening words in a URL help with search placement?

Posted by: david katz at July 13, 2011 9:56 AM

Here is a big question that does web hosting can affect online search engine ranking? The answer is yes. Normal wisdom holds that because SEO involves various factors and aspects of a website, is there a correlation between web hosting and online search engine results positioning positions as well...

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I do have a comment, now that you mention it!

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Inside The Book
Foreword, by Guy Kawasaki
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Increasing Your Business Visibility (chapter 1)
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Making Money with Google AdSense (Chapter 19)
The Advantages of Affiliate Programs (Chapter 20)
Avoiding Dumb Online Promotional Mistakes (Chapter 21)
Growing and Expanding Your Content (Chapter 22)
The Future of Findability (Chapter 23)

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Bill Gates: The Age of Software-Powered Communications
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Google doesn't support click fraud. But isn't that obvious?
Welcome to Google's online payment system, Google Checkout
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Google Toolbar Gets Personal
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Note from the Google AdSense Team
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New Google AdWords Keyword System Released

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Blogging for Search Engine Results
Why does advertising site Chitika audit commission payments?
Google Adsense Update: Section Targeting
Understanding "link:" results (book errata)

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