Keyword in a domain name has been a hot topic in the SEO industry ever since. On March 11th, 2010 Matt Cutts came out with his take “How Important is it to have Keywords in a Domain name” video.

One of the best ways to find out importance of keywords in a domain name is to do a simple test by purchasing a domain name with the keywords you would like to rank for, put a page up on that domain with content that doesn’t mention the keyword in the body, copy, title etc & then link to the site from another site using the text “click here”.

The Result – The page will not rank for the targeted keyword. Content still plays the key part in getting noticed and found when searching. A keyword in a domain says nothing about the quality of the content on the site – it’s something that anyone can manipulate in an instant and at very low-cost.

Keyword domain names and Branded domain names

A keyword domain name with reasonably good content will have anchor text from links pointing to your site. So in many cases, it is not the domain name that is influencing a sites ranking, it is the anchor text that helps the domain achieve good ranking for the targeted keyword.

Let’s look at this way – having “wordpress” in your domain name will help you rank faster because people link to it saying “wordpress”. If “wordpress” is the only keyword you would like to rank for, then it’s ok. But if you’re looking at targeting keywords like “seo tips”, “make money online”, “web hosting” etc. So, If you are building a niche website, targeting some low volume keywords and don’t plan to put a ton of effort in, a keyword rich domain is probably more important.

A Branded domain name is something that is more apt to remember. If you are building a high quality site that you have large aspirations for, then an exact match domain is less important and you can opt for a name that you would like to see as a brand in the future. Remember that keywords in domain names for large websites have low value as specific keyword value in domain decreases as your website increases in content.

Choosing whether to go with a Keyword domain name or branded domain name would ideally depend on what aspiration you have for your website.

Do let us know your thoughts on whether a webmaster should opt for a Branded Domain Name or Keyword Domain name based on your experience?