There has been repeated discussion, about the effectiveness of using keywords in your URL, and the possible benefit of an EMD or exact match domain. After view a recent Matt Cutts webmaster video, we decided to conduct an exact match domain experiment, and become Mountain Chicken experts along the way; as well.
Recently, the Research and Development staff at TWMG purchased three domain names, place them on identical servers, and installed a WordPress blog on each. During the next 7 days, nearly identical meta data and Home page content; were placed on each website. Other than that, absolutely no additional search engine marketing has been performed. Furthermore, none of the subject websites have any established inbound links, of any kind.
In about a week, the website with an exact match domain name, returned a result in the first position; in a Google search for mountain chicken expert (see below). In second spot, was the exact match domain name, using hyphens to separate the keywords. And, in third position was the unrelated domain name, using (nearly identical) meta data and website content; to establish search relevancy.
It would appear that for now, Google still favors exact match domain names, in an exact keyword/phrase searches. Matt Cutts has warned that Google will be turning down the value of exact match domains, however when and how much; still remains to be announced. In the meantime, hyphen use in the domain name is preferred over non-exact match domains or brand names, that (for the moment) rely upon keyword-rich meta data and webpage content; to establish search marketplace relevancy.
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