Get ready SEOs, domain squatters, locally overly zealous small business owners. Your city-business-niche-keyword-rich “dot-com” site could be smacked like Ike smacked Tina.
I could be over-exaggerating, but since the majority of comments I read are from SEOs who squawk like Chicken Little every time a change hits the SERPs, I thought I’d add a little color to Matt Cutts’ comments.
Here’s a transcript of Cutts’ comments, thanks to Aaron Wall:
Now if you are still on the fence, let me just give you a bit of color. that we have looked at the rankings and the weights that we give to keyword domains, & some people have complained that we are giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains. So we have been thinking about at adjusting that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given 2 different domains it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain name with a bunch of keywords in it.
I think if such an update were to happen it would dramatically affect small business websites. It also begs the question: Would this update make your keyword-rich domain obsolete and require you to purchase and use a new domain, one Google deems less spammy?
If your legitimate business name falls prey to big G, and you are forced to move to a new domain name, you are essentially rebranding your business. ScottsdaleWindowTint.com (disclosure: not a client of mine) is a perfect example; if they lose their page one visibility because of this pending update, what do they do?
Change their business name? That requires registering as a new business, creating new online & offline marketing materials, and re-educating consumers, all of which are things most local business people do not have time for.
It will be really interesting to see how this shakes out. Hopefully Google has an ace up its sleeve and can thoughtfully separate the wheat from the chaff here: “Small local businesses, you are OK, but the rest of you over-optimized sites leveraging the keyword-rich domain trick, you’re toast,” Google might say.
Time will tell.