Keywords in URLs DO Matter!

  • Comments: 6
  • Written on: December 15th, 2007

From time to time people ask me if its is absolutely necessary that a URL contain keywords that users will likely search for.

The answer is no, they are not absolutely critical. However keywords in your URL can give you a huge and immediate boost into the search results for your desired search term.

Here is an example. When I was competing in Joel Comm’s affiliate program to move copies of his Secret Classroom product, I reserved two domains – nextinternetmillionairedvd.com and secretclassroomoffer.com.

I updated the nextinternetmillionairedvd website daily and generated a TON of backlinks all over the web to ensure a high search engine placement. As of today, it is ranked #2 for the term Secret Classroom in Google (right behind www.secretclassroom.com).

While the other website was updated at times as well, far less effort was put into building backlinks and tweaking its meta content. The URL obviously has the keywords Secret Classroom in it, and look where that caused the search engine rankings to end up:

www.secretclassroomoffer.com

This URL is ranked #6 in the results for secret classroom (it went as high as #4). This site is mostly images and has very little machine readable content. It is there mostly because it has keywords in its URL.

www.secretclassroom.nextinternetmillionairedvd.com

While the root domain nextinternetmillionairedvd.com is ranked second, I established a subdomain on that URL called secretclassroom. The content on the subdomain is EXACTLY THE SAME as the content in the root domain, yet it comes in at #9 in the search results!

A REALLY Long URL

Coming in at #19 is secretclassroom.nextinternetmillionairedvd.com/ secretclassroom_kris_jones.php. Boy that’s a mouthful!

Note the repeated words secret classroom in the URL. I have now placed three times in the top 20 search results with three pages from a site that only has 14 total pages. The content on two of these pages is identical, and the third was a content scrape from an online bio of Kris Jones from PepperjamSearch.

Admittedly, # 9 and #19 are not exactly stellar search results. But imagine if I would have put the same backlink effort into www.secretclassroomoffer.com as I did into the nextinternetmillionairedvd.com website. Having those keywords might have even been enough to elevate me up over the real Secret Classroom website by Joel Comm!

The moral of the story is that while you can achieve stellar results without having keywords in your URLs, adding keywords can give you an instant edge that your competition will have to work hard to overcome.

If you are about to reserve a URL, I suggest you find a way to include your keywords if at all possible.

If you already have a URL with content and search engine results you don’t want to abandon, add keywords to the names of your future pages and add a subdomain that contains your keywords as well if possible.

  1. James said on December 16th, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    It’s true that eBay, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, etc. all don’t have keywords in their domain names, but I’m not them and I’m happy with having keywords in my domain names most of the time. I don’t listen to what people on forum say because often they want to sound clever and only repeat whatever they’ve read on another forum.

  2. Noel said on December 17th, 2007 at 12:28 am

    I believe there’s something in the words in a domain name that tickles the reader’s minds just by looking at them. It’s a good catch to have some keywords embedded in your domains I think.

  3. Guadagnare said on December 17th, 2007 at 4:01 am

    I have just subscribed for your feed!

    I look forward to see more great content!
    You are doing great!

    I love what you are doing with the secretclassroom. Great job.

    Talk to you soon,
    Francesco

  4. Andrew said on December 18th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Not only do keywords in the URL help, but their placement WITHIN the URL also helps… for instance, with blogs you’ll see URLs with a format like so: “http://www.thorschrock.com/2007/12/15/keywords-in-urls-do-matter”

    Notice the date is before the article name (keywords). In WordPress, you can create urls that look more like this: “http://www.aviationofbusiness.com/AoBBlog/im-entering-a-contest-worth-1800/2007/12/18/”

    Notice that the keywords in the article title appear BEFORE the date it was posted. All else being equal, I believe that a URL with the keywords FIRST will outrank a URL with the keywords LAST.

    Oh, BTW – I entered your contest. 🙂

    Namaste,
    Andrew
    http://www.aviationofbusiness.com

  5. Thor Schrock said on December 30th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Not only do keywords in the URL help, but their placement WITHIN the URL also helps… for instance, with blogs you’ll see URLs with a format like so: “http://www.thorschrock.com/2007/12/15/keywords-in-urls-do-matter”

    Notice the date is before the article name (keywords). In WordPress, you can create urls that look more like this: “http://www.aviationofbusiness.com/AoBBlog/im-entering-a-contest-worth-1800/2007/12/18/”

    Notice that the keywords in the article title appear BEFORE the date it was posted. All else being equal, I believe that a URL with the keywords FIRST will outrank a URL with the keywords LAST.

    Oh, BTW – I entered your contest. :)

    Namaste,
    Andrew
    http://www.aviationofbusiness.com

    Good call Andrew. Now I just need find a way to change my permalink structure without demolishing my SERPs.

  6. Thor Schrock said on December 30th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I have just subscribed for your feed!

    I look forward to see more great content!
    You are doing great!

    I love what you are doing with the secretclassroom. Great job.

    Talk to you soon,
    Francesco

    Thanks a ton! I have some great stuff wued for the 1st week of Januay!

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