Keyword Rich vs Branded Domain Names

There are two theories on what a good domain name is for the purpose of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Keyword Rich/Targeted Domain Names

One belief is that you should have generic keywords you want to target in your domain name. For example, if you are a web designer in Sydney you might choose a domain name such as

Branded Domain Names

The second belief is that your domain name should represent your brand. You might run a company called Whicked Reality Inc, so your domain name would then be or something along those lines.

Keyword vs Branded Domain Names - Which is better?

So which is better for SEO, the keyword or the branded domain name? Branded domain names are the cleaner, safer bet.

Sure, search engines analyse URLs for keywords, but they clearly filter out questionable domain names. In the two examples above, looks horrible to the human eye, so chances are it will look horrible to the search engine algorithms. That is, it will look horrible unless the page contains some great quality content.

You only have to look up a popular search term in Google for proof that long, wordy domain names aren’t generally the way to go. SEO is a term that would certainly come up with sites that have been optimized to the nth degree. Put it in Google and you won’t find any It’s a similar story when you search for the term search engine optimization.

Some of the sites in the SERPs do contain the term seo but it is always used within a branding context and not simply to boost a search engine ranking.

Keywords in Page Names

If you really feel the need to have some keywords in your URL, then I suggest putting those keywords in either directory or page names. For example, if you run a web hosting and web design company you might structure your pages as so:

As you can see, we’ve hit the target keywords of web design and web hosting without compromising a simple and classy looking


  • Choose a simple, relevant, branded domain name. The one exception is if you manage to pick up a nice one or two word generic keyword domain name, but most are taken already.
  • Structure your site/URLs so that you hit the most important 1 or 2 keywords in your directory or page structure.
  • Keep optimizing your site with other SEO tips and tricks.
  • Always remember - content is king - so make your pages useful and informative for people.

2 Responses to “Keyword Rich vs Branded Domain Names”

  1. Goo Theory » Should You Use .biz Domain Names? Says:

    […] Other tld names, IMHO, don’t have as bad a reputation as .biz domains. I believe the reason for this is because .biz domains are primarily used by people trying to cash in on keyword rich domain names to sell their latest e-book (or someone else’s e-book). They came into the web game late so are unable to pick up a good .com domain name, so they seek out .biz. […]

  2. NFL Lockout Says:

    I picked up when kratom first became popular. I fitted it with a wp like theme and posted 10 or so articles on the subject then submitted it to google. I posted 20 backlinks strategically and was on the front page in 10 days. Key word rich domain worked pretty good in that case.

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