How Does Your Website’s Domain Affect its SEO?

Posted by Catherine Hatch on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

Every aspect of your website has an impact on its SEO. Google scans your entire website to determine its ranking, including every page, every piece of content, your images, footnotes, and even your domain. Although your domain is no longer as important of a factor for SEO as it once was, it will still impact your Google ranking. We’ve compiled a list of the ways in which your website’s domain can impact its SEO. Read below to learn more.

website domain

Domains and Old SEO

Your domain used to be a very important part of your site’s SEO. Including your most important keywords in your domain used to be one of the best ways to achieve ranking for that keyword on Google. However, Google no longer uses domain matches as a primary factor in matching searches to websites. Therefore, keyword stuffing your domain is no longer a good strategy to improve your SEO. For this reason, most sites choose domain names close to their business’s name rather than their target keywords. 

Domain Registration Length

According to Google, legitimate domains are often paid for several years in advance. Less reliable domains, on the other hand, are rarely used for more than a year at a time. For this reason, the future date when the domain expires can be a factor in Google’s determination of the reliability of your site. If Google does not see your site as reputable, you will not be able to achieve a high rank. When registering your domain, it’s a good idea to opt for a long-term registration to reinforce the reliability of your site.

Domain History

Before choosing a domain, you should research the history of the domain you’re considering. If your domain used to be owned by a unreliable site, it can impact your SEO. Although Google tries to reset when a new person purchases a domain, there can still be residual penalties. For example, if a site that has been penalized by Google for violating terms and conditions, the penalties can often carry over into its new owner. 

Keyword Inclusion

Including keywords in your domain is no longer the significant factor it once was. However, it can still act as a relevancy signal for Google, especially if it’s the first word in the domain. Additionally, including a keyword in your subdomain is a great way to boost rankings. For example, if your site domain is, you might have a page devoted to pet sitting. Your subdomain, the words after the “/” could say pet sitting, to make the full domain “” Including the keyword “pet setting” in the subdomain can help your site rank for that keyword.

Country TLD Extension

Including a country code on your top level domain, like .cn, .pt,, can help large scale businesses improve their SEO. Country TLD extensions can help your site rank for the country included in the extension. However, it can limit your site’s ability to rank globally, so if your business is global, you should avoid a domain including a country code.


ImageWorks, LLC | CT Search Engine Optimization

While professional SEO services can offer many opportunities to your business, you should never depend on SEO alone for the growth of your business. The companies that thrive on the online world have a comprehensive approach and utilize both online and offline marketing strategies. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.

By integrating all of today's Web tools such as SEO, social media, pay per click, and blogs, ImageWorks, LLC can turn your site into a lead generation tool.

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Topics: SEO, Website Domains, SEO Factors

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