This topic cropped up after a conversation with a client recently. We were discussing what domain name to use for their website and if it’s better to either have a branded domain name (such as darkcherrycreative.co.uk) or a keyword-specific domain name (fullservicedesignagencywestyorkshire.co.uk). It has long been the case that having your main keywords as part of your domain name was seen to be quite valuable. It helped add relevancy to your site for those keywords and could help you rank for specific phrases.
The problem with naming sites in this way, and there being a benefit for doing so, is that it started to get abused. You’d see sites cropping up with the sole purpose of ranking for a single valuable phrase. Often this would just be a landing page or a clone of an existing website. This was seen as manipulation of search engine results, something that the likes of Google want to prevent at all costs.
Google’s John Mueller answered a question on Reddit about ranking benefits of using the keywords in the domain name. Mueller confirmed that there’s no SEO bonus for keywords in the domain and listed reasons why not to use keyword-based domains. You can read more about this over at: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-no-seo-bonus-for-keyword-based-domains/438324/.
In summary, if you’re thinking about launching a website called steeltaperedthreadcarraigebolts.co.uk or something similar, maybe think twice and just use your actual company name. You have the benefit of building a brand that people will actually remember, and it won’t look like you’re trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Google.
As with a Casino, the house (Google, in this case) always wins!