The use of keyword domain names has been considered by some in the SEO industry to be a valuable strategy. Matt’s recent (28 Sep 2012) announcement via Twitter may have seriously undermined that value.
This strategy encourages website owners to register domain names based on the primary keywords in their niche. To gain the value the business must either fully migrate their domain name from brand-centric to product-centric or to supplement the existing domain name with additional keyword domain names. In this second scenario, the keyword domain is often parked over the existing domain. This has the effect of displaying identical content in response to both domain names and raises duplicate content concerns.
A cynic may suggest the value is greater for the promoters of the strategy as they are artificially creating a demand that they may earn a commission in satisfying.
One of the cornerstone suggestions from Google on how to achieve the best ranking for your site is to make choices that help the searcher. It’s hard to see how keyword domain name or duplicate content are of any value to searchers. So there is no real surprise Google is taking this action.
If you’re in this situation, what is your next step? The answer may depend on the specifics of your actions to date. But here are some suggestions that may be helpful ..
- if the keyword domain is the only one in use, don’t change. Concentrate on providing value to the visitors by growing the content.
- if you have a keyword domain name parked on top of a primary site, either
- change the structure to use a redirect instead and update any inbound links to point to the primary site if possible; or
- separate the domains and generate content specific to the theme. This is the more onerous option.
If you have any concerns that your domain names may be caught up in this Google algorithm change, talk to a trusted adviser or post a question below.
- There’s gold in those domain names - but for whom? (blog.midboh.com.au)