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Your Domain, is it a problem?

Our opinions are gained from experience, facts and research. We are happy to be challenged if you have better data or evidence.

Data-Driven SEO

Is Your SEO As Good As Your Domain?

One of the most talked about SEO is your domain name. Most businesses simply find a domain that is available and buy it.

Data-Driven SEO

Domain Age (YES)

We have sold 100s of domains over the years the majority with some type of backlink history.

It can work. however there is an art to it, and Google does not want to promote that fact. Google’s John Mueller has said, “domain age helps nothing, but I would argue that we have over 100s of examples that old domains with positive history can make a difference.

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Data-Driven SEO

Exact match Keywords as a domain (YES)

Using a dental keyword in your domain is still an easy way to beat the competition. Of course, it won’t work so well with eCommerce, but it still works well for less competitive keywords like ’emergency dentist’. See here.

We, as a company, have been using exact-match domains and have had great success. One of our underused TLDs The domains are largely unregistered and unpopular; however, they will work just as well as a and are easy to gain some traction over the competition.

Conclusion: they are not as great as they used to be.

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Data-Driven SEO

Domain registration length (NO)

This factor is about how long you register your domain. The argument is that if your website is a short-term gig or you will use it to spam or test the water, then you would only register the domain for a year. If it were a serious business or an important site then surely you would register the domain for anything from 3 to 10 years.

This is a complete fallacy. We have over 10,000 domains all registered for between one and 10 years.

We have studied if increasing the number of years a domain is registered for any effect on overall improvement in Google SERPs.

It does not make any difference.

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Data-Driven SEO

Keyword in Subdomain (YES)

This has always been a bit of a no-brainer.

The reason why is that initially, all hosting was on a subdomain. From 2003 to 2006 no one had their own domain they would have or Hosting and domain registration became cheaper, and sub-domains became less popular.

Whilst it still works and is always a good option. It is my opinion it has become less important and the automatic boost while still there is less.

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Data-Driven SEO

Domain History (NO)

Google is not a member of Nominet in the UK so cannot easily determine when ownership of the domain changes. And in a sense, it should be a ranking factor as the owner of the domain could change with the business remaining the same.

In that case, should Google have a blanket rule that if the ownership of domain changes, then its index score i.e. the number of points the algorithm awards to the domain, should be reset to nil.

It would be too broad a rule. It would mean relying on external registries worldwide to provide information. It is unworkable.

If the history of a domain has Google penalties, then Search Console, which in a sense is a relatively limited technology, could easily carry the penalties over. This is because SC does not log the domain owner merely who has access to the domain.

Google says that a defence against a domain penalty is that you have just bought the domain. We have had domains that have had a penalty and been dropped out of the index for years that then suddenly reappear as if nothing had happened.

We can only assume that legacy penalties on the domain are systematically removed once in a blue moon.

This is just not fair or workable.

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Data-Driven SEO

Public vs Private WhoIs (NO)

This again is human thinking, but it would sense, right?

However, in 2018-2019 Nominet decided to make all UK who-is details of ownership private. You could no longer see the domain owner and would have to apply to Nominet with a reason to find the domain owner.

I’m sure there are a number of other registries around the world which have similar privacy regulations. Unfortunately, this means it is impossible to create an algorithmic rule that covers all’s.

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Data-Driven SEO

Penalised Who Is Owner

If your domain has been blacklisted as a potential spammer or phishing domain, this should constitute a black mark against your website and hence a lower Google ranking position.

What if the domain had viruses or, heaven forbid, was a porn site.

Although this is logical, you would then have to argue which blacklist you are to adhere to. Google has its own data on spamming domains or ones with viruses. But what about outside of Google, email spam, for example?

We have had many domains on blacklists, which have been hacked and/or perhaps were mistakenly on a number of lists, but equally so were not listed on other lists.

No list seemed to be definite. However, there are three large public domain blacklists: Spamhaus, SURBL, and URIBL. All of them will give you different data.

It could be that Google retains and uses its own data. If Google gives you a penalty or a warning black mark, that may stay. Google trusts its own data and anyway they own the search engine!

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Data-Driven SEO

Country TLD extension (YES & NO)

Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn, .pt, .ca) can sometimes help the site rank for that particular country… but it can limit the site’s ability to rank globally.” Brian Dean

Again this has a grain of truth. What is true is that Google seems to domains as truly international whereas country-level domains .ca for example, may only rank within the country.

What happens, in reality, is certain of Google’s databases are merged together so, for example Canada or Australia and the UK are all part of one index dataset.

So if you’re in the UK, it is not unusual to see Canadian or Australian results in your search. Annoying eh?

Back to research.

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Mr Benedict Sykes has over 17 years of experience in SEO and dental marketing. He can help you grow your business. There is no commitment and no hard sell.

Three Overall Factors That Decide Your Website’s SEO Performance

Dental Content

Good content is about winning customers’ attention and compelling a buying action.

Front content is on-page SEO; it is the story you tell web users about your business. 

It is the words, the voice, the tone, images and video.

Professional content creation is the essential factor currently within Google’s scoring metrics and the most popular service we offer for improved SEO.

Broadly it is

  • What you sell
  • Why do you sell it
  • Why should I buy from you


Backend Code​

Google’s index is one giant computer that reads code and has a set of rules (algorithm) to rank a website.

Computers read code, not just wordsThe code helps Google to understand the written content. In addition, it is another way of validating the website’s claims.

Optimising your code was the original essence of search engine optimisation. It was a set of rules (an algorithm!) that if you followed you would rank top of Google.

There have been many changes within code optimisation. Now it is less a process of correct Metadata and Headings and more a question of mark-up language and JSON.

Code optimisation is more than maintenance; it is the technical employment of a service that works hand in hand with new content. It is a case of optimising WP themes, marking up code and maximising speed and UI.


Off-Page Factors​

Google looks for online signals that corroborate the claims you make within your content.

Off-page is about SEO factors like backlinks, reviews, content marketing, social media etc. All of these aspects form signals to Google about a site’s trustability.

The list seems long; however, only parts affect your ranking position in Google.

Backlinks without updated content and UI are unlikely to have much effect. Improving a reputation or being active on social media will not convince Google to rank a poor website.

Backlinks and signals are confirmation of content; they are reliable witnesses to your business’s USP, product offerings and services.

The way to improve a backlink profile is to make small drip feed changes to new/updated pages while encouraging reviews and social media engagement.


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