Don’t Let Domain Bias Ruin Your Business!

Since the dawning days of the internet when decent domain names were still available, having a matching business name and domain name was pretty standard. Of course, that wasn’t always possible which meant that a little bit more creativity had to occur when selecting a domain name. Since then, there has been a quiet war happening regarding domain names and which – matched or unmatched – actually get the best search engine optimization results and are more productive in College Station. There are those who believe that domain bias can negatively affect websites while others claim that it will not happen if websites are correctly managed.

What Is Domain Bias?

Domain bias happens when a searcher looks for a particular name or brand, finds both exact match and unmatched domains for the same item, and assumes that the matched name site belongs to the company that owns the brand name. Although this is not always true, because an association is made with the exact business name, such an assumption happens frequently. Of course, the goal is to be the website that gathers the most organic traffic, which can be a concern to businesses where someone else has purchased their domain name.

For big companies, it can be more a bother than a real concern as web searchers will quickly recognize that the exact name site is not the one they are looking for and go back to the results listings to find the right one. For smaller companies without a widely known or established brand, it isn’t so easy. When companies find that someone else already owns their exact match domain name, there is a lot of fear that this will affect search engine optimization results, traffic, and conversions because most web surfers are going to click on the exact matched name first in most cases.

Is There Really a Difference?

With millions of websites, the fact remains that there will continue to be situations when businesses and organizations seeking to purchase an exact match domain name will find that it is not be possible and another domain name must be chosen. Studies have revealed this can definitely be detrimental and create additional work with search engine optimization in Bryan to combat such an issue.

Studies have indeed shown that people will click on the exact match domain name first if it appears in search results. Beyond that, relevant names that include important keywords then get the next most attention if the company name is familiar. Again, for smaller, less-known companies, viewers are reluctant to even check a link to see if it is what they want.

What it All Means

Essentially, it all means that good page rank can be found with non-associated domain names; however, it is more difficult to do this because exact match domain names are preferred by searchers as being more familiar and easier to spot. It is a benefit that can yield improved search engine optimization results and exposure simply because of the matched name. Yes, this is domain bias at its best and it is difficult to change how people interpret and choose from a list.

Domain bias does happen – and it is the norm rather than the exception. The best choice is to purchase if possible an exact match domain name for a business to stay competitive and achieve good search engine optimization efforts in Bryan and College Station. If the exact name is not available, cannot be purchased from the owner, or the cost to purchase is exorbitant, the next best thing to do is select a name with a highly relevant keyword instead. Work with that name to get it seen and associated with the company website.

One other alternative is to see if that exact name match can be purchased with a different suffix or generic top level domain (gTLD) instead of the customary ‘.com’ ending and have that name be a link to the correct website. Purchasing the most popular gTLDs with the hopes of being able to own and direct them to the company website may be an option. The best alternative is to work diligently with search engine optimization on all relevant keywords and be the first listing displayed in a results list – then all the ‘cybersquatters’ out there who buy the .com’s and the .net’s to resell at unreasonable prices won’t have a cyber leg to stand on!

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February 27th, 2014|