The Importance of a Domain Host in SEO

importance of a domain host in SEOWhen it comes to SEO, webmasters tend to focus too much on in-page optimization that they forget that the domain host itself is a factor, and a powerful one at that. In fact, having a good domain host and choosing the right domain name will usually give you a running start, as far as getting decent search engine placements for your pages is concerned.

First Things First: Why You Need a Top Level Domain Name

Back in the late 90s, when the Internet was still young, having a top-level domain name is not important and in fact, webmasters enjoyed using a subdomain, as cliques tend to form and they use umbrella domains to house different sites. However, a few years later (or a decade later), subdomains started being seen as amateurish, as a webmaster’s lack of investment on his own domain name signify a lack of commitment. This prompted ad networks to reject sites that don’t have their own domain name, which further snowballed into webmasters themselves considering subdomains to be useless (mainly because of the belief that you can’t make money off them).

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This brings us to today, where having your own domain name is pretty much a requisite if you want your website to be taken seriously, and most especially if you want your website to be profitable. However, simply having a domain name is not enough if you want to be visible on search engine results.

Choosing a Good Domain Name

If you are shopping around for a domain name, you may notice that the extensions will differ in prices, with .com always being more expensive than its counterparts. The main reason for the difference in prices is not availability (although that factors in as well) but because when people don’t remember your exact URL, they tend to assume that it’s a .com, followed by a .net. You should keep this in mind when choosing a domain – prioritize the .com even if it is more expensive as people, browsers, and even search engines tend to put more authority in .com domains, followed by .net, then the rest (if you’re an organization, .org will also work.)

EMD or Non-EMD?

If you want to stack all the cards in your favor, you might want to get an EMD (Exact Match Domain), which is basically using a domain name that matches your niche or topic. For instance, if your website is about Red Flowers, your domain name should be This has a couple of advantages, first is that it helps convince search engines that your site is relevant to the topic, and it also makes it easier for visitors to remember your URL. Additionally, you can also catch traffic from people who are just typing the keywords willy nilly into their address bar (remember that bit about .coms being preferred? That plays into this) and people who are fond of Google’s “I am feeling lucky” button.

However, one disadvantage of having an exact match domain is that it can limit your site’s scope. If your website is, people who are searching for information on red pottery might not consider visiting it even though you have an entire section devoted to pottery of different colors. One way of avoiding this is by choosing a more generic domain name that serves as an umbrella topic for all the niches that you might want to tackle. In the example given, might work as it concerns both brown flowers and pottery. It’s not going to be as powerful as an EMD, but it keeps your options open. It’s the one tradeoff you have to think about if you’re going to choose between an EMD and a non-EMD.

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