There are two schools of thought concerning the choosing of your domain name:

  1. You have to choose between branding and search engine optimization
  2. It doesn’t really matter how you want to name your blog; in the end, what matters the most is the content

So let’s take a look at these two notions.

Branding versus Search Engine Optimization

Needless to say, there are a lot of writers out there who can expound this matter in greater details, but this whole idea hinges on keywords. Keywords are words that people type in to search for particular products, services, answers, etc. So if you want your blog to be listed on the search results for a particular keyword, the idea is you have to effectively include that keyword on your blog. Now one of the first text-form contents that people or search engines will find on your blog is, of course, your domain name.

With branding, you focus more on the uniqueness of your domain name because that’s your brand, e.g. http://www.simplykatherine.com. Meanwhile with the search engine optimization approach, you would use your desired keywords within your domain name, e.g. www.allrecipes.com (here obviously they want people to find their website when searching for recipes).

Domain Name Doesn’t Matter Much

This thought is the utopia of search engines’ algorithms (i.e. methods to determine relevancy and credibility of online contents and rank them accordingly to match a certain searched keyword) because it means that search engines do not need clues, such as the domain names, to find matching or relevant keywords within the content of that blog. Besides, the content itself can also be search engine optimized (I won’t get into this right now).

SimplyKL: Personal Remark

While branding is a matter of personal preference, the search engine optimization of your domain name is somewhat preferred by the search engines because it will have certain impact on your blog’s relevancy to the specific keywords that are used within that domain name.

Search engines are giving their best to mimic human behavior but their algorithms still cannot nix those obvious clues, such as domain names, to lead them to relevant content. So yes, the choosing of your domain name has some contribution to your blog’s performance on search results but it’s not that big of a loss if you decide to leave out the keywords. Search engines still put heavy emphasis on keywords within the title tags, your blog’s title.

Just a side note, different search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing) have different algorithms. With specific conditions, Yahoo and Bing do put you on the first page of the search results when you spell out your keywords in your domain name. These conditions include: your blog is newly created and your keywords are very specific thus allowing minimal competition. Yet within a week or so, you will notice your blog’s search-rank declining. I believe this is a component of the search engines’ algorithm to promote new blogs for a certain period of time; more complex algorithm kicks in thereafter.

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