Keyword Rich URLs Vs Branded URLs For SEO

One of the older SEO techniques that is still used by many people is purchasing keyword rich domains. In the past, if you had the keywords you were trying to rank for in the domain itself, it provided a significant amount of weight towards gaining rankings for that keyword.  While this is not something that is going to create a penalty for your website in ways that keyword stopping into your content might, what we find is that the reasoning behind many people attempting to purchase keyword rich URLs is that they believe that it will enable them to outrank their competition easily.  This is based upon SEO techniques from the past where it worked far more effectively, and the lack of understanding that google only puts a small amount of weight onto this kind of technique today.  Because this tactic was so overused by search engine optimization companies, google began to realize that it had no bearing on the quality of the website or the information on the website.  Because it was simply a method used to gain higher rankings as opposed to being a method that would provide better information for people, google discounted the amount of impact that a key word rich URL would have on the rankings for the term being targeted.  The best way to think about this is that it will have a minor of fact towards creating higher rankings, but not nearly the effect that you would think.  Because the tradeoff is going to be that your URL is now a generic phrase instead of the name of your business, you must think about the potential damaging effects of only gaining a small amount of benefit vs. not having your URL seem like it is associated with your brand.  For example, the Las Vegas lawyer might look for a URL it has these keywords and it, and as a result does not have an address that has your actual firm name.  This means that you will get only a small amount of rankings boost from the keywords URL and at the same time confuse your existing client base who do not know if the website they are seeing on google is yours are not.  It is not a good idea to alienate existing customers who are looking for your website to cater to new customers via the rankings, especially when the benefit of your choice is only minimal.  Google places far more weight on the content of your website being in line with the phrasing your targeting, and the links coming into the webpage also being in line with the sub the subject.  Many search engine optimization professionals will argue that even the old school techniques have only minor impact are worth doing because in a competitive space it is going to take every element that is possible to outrank competition.  While this is essentially true, we must look at the negative impact that a decision this has against the benefits, and in this case is generally not worth it.  Our suggestion is to always choose the branded URL as opposed to attempting to keyword stuff in your domain.  You will have more success at ranking by developing good content on a subject been attempting to fool google with tricks that they have long since realized.

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