Why You Shouldn't Use Exact Match Domains (Don't Make This SEO Mistake)

Why You Shouldn't Use Exact Match Domains (Don't Make This SEO Mistake)

Whenever you Google terms like hotels, you may end up seeing sites like hotels.com at the top. And this may make you think that, “Hey, I need to go out there “and spend a ton of money to buy one of these “exact match domains where the exact keyword “that I want to rank for is the domain name.”

Ubersuggest: https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/

Well, hotels.com is a little bit of an anomaly and most of us, including me, we can’t replicate that because we just don’t have enough money. If you go to hotels.com, you’ll quickly see it’s a very large corporation. They run tons and tons of caveats. They’re owned by Expedia Group, which is a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company.

So, yes, hotels.com is able to rank really well because they have the exact match domain name, but they’ve also created a brand around hotels.com. And here’s what I mean by this. If you Google for most generic terms like nurse, you’ll find that nurse.com isn’t ranking number one, it’s actually ranking number three.

You have Nursing World that’s number one, then Wikipedia, then you have nurse.com, and then Medical News Today, and the list goes on and on. What you’ll end up seeing is if someone’s Googling your domain or the keyword, which is the exact match of your domain, and you don’t get a lot of clicks, it actually can hurt your rankings.

Here’s what I mean by that. If you go look at my analytics here for neilpatel.com, I’m getting roughly 4.43 million clicks from Google in the last 28 days. One of my most popular keywords is Ubersuggest. Another one is Neil Patel. When people are Googling Ubersuggest, 81% of people are actually clicking on my website. So when people Google for terms like Ubersuggest, you’ll see I have the indented listing and then they’ll click on my listing.

But what most people don’t realize is if a lot of people skip this listing here and they went to number two or number three, what would that tell Google? It would tell Google that, “Hey, this neilpatel.com website “isn’t as relevant towards this keyword. “A lot of people are skipping over it “because they don’t like it. “They don’t want to click on it.”

So if everyone skipped over my listing, and they’re not, because as you can see here, I’m at 81%, but hypothetically imagine if everyone skipped it, it would tell Google, “Hey, this site shouldn’t rank at the top. “People don’t like it as much.” So then they’ll start pushing up the other sites higher and higher up, which can hurt your rankings.

Now, the point of me breaking this down to you and telling you this is most people are like, “I want a generic domain.” Well, unless you have the ad budgets of the Expedia’s or the hotels.com, it doesn’t work that well because you’ll end up being in the same position as nurse.com.

And if a lot of people are Googling your domain name but they’re not clicking on your listing, let’s say if only 20% of people actually clicked on your listing instead of that 70, 80%, what you’ll find is your rankings for all your other pages won’t do as well, because it’s telling Google, “Hey, this site doesn’t have strong brand loyalty. “People don’t love this brand.”

If you have a strong brand like a Nike, you’ll start ranking better for all the other terms out there like shoes and apparel and stuff like that. Just like with me on neilpatel.com, I rank for terms like SEO. You know, I may not be number one for every term, but I’m still at the top. So I’m here number four. And I also rank, or number five, Moz, Moz, Search Engine Land, Google, than me. And I also rank for many other terms, like if I go type in online marketing, you know, I’m number two.

And the reason I’m ranking for a lot of these terms is because I have strong click-through rate for many of my other pages. But if your brand, like your brand, my brand is Neil Patel and Ubersuggest, because I have a app called Ubersuggest, and my name is Neil Patel.

If people aren’t clicking through when they’re searching my brand, it tells Google that I have low brand loyalty, which hurts my rankings on my overall website.

So if you’re going to pick a domain name, don’t pick a exact match domain name.

It’s fine to have your keyword in the domain, but you don’t want your domain name to be a quote-unquote, “Generic keyword,” because it can hurt your overall rankings.

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  1. Nini Mirvelashvili on September 12, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    is ubersuggest going to become paid? Neil please don’t forget free plan is essentially important for beginners. Beginners that are going o become pros and use advanced plans.

  2. Capela on September 12, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    I’ve needed to know this information for so long it made my whole day, thank you so much Neil you gave me confidence!

  3. Chris Ryan on September 12, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    your an idiot

  4. Bhavya kher on September 12, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    Hi sir,

    Could u suggest any website for domain name search..

  5. Al Harlow on September 12, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    No, no, no, Neil. Really?

  6. Defend Your Liberty on September 12, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    I think it’s not the same when the EMD is longer and more specific.

  7. I am Creative on September 12, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Neil also Kindly tell me How Can I Check Content Writing is Spin or not because I hired some one from facebook group and She can Write article which is good for users but how can I Check this article is plagrism or spin free I used free tool but please give me any advance tips?

  8. ModderDisposal on September 12, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    I would like to state that the single caveut to this rule is if you have drilled down to a very very VERY tight niche that has decent kw searches, but the few competitors are reletively incompetent or flat-out ignorant in seo on and off site, you can actually build "brand auto suggestion" serp rankings in the top 1-3 listings if you have a good grasping on what to do and how to do it at a steady pace with high quality unique content. I’ve gotten 5-7 such branded "exact match" domains ranked in such manner including even auto suggestion serps that achieve good ctr/low bounce rate.

    It’s a "perfect storm" of sorts, combining kw research, scoping what competitors are doing and how poorly they are doing it, drilling down to a very very tight but profitable niche, and building exact match searchs so much that it becomes a ‘brand’ of sorts, ergo ranking in all top 3 in serp

  9. Kunik Jindal on September 12, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Hey neil

    Why you are not hiding your Wp-admin page. Does it create any SEO problem or anything else. Please tell me because I have just trying to change the login page of my site.

  10. Pramod Wickramathilaka on September 12, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Hurt… i have most of domains acutaly dictionory words…can you do good video about impact of traffic becoause of domain name may be..

  11. Relaxing Video on September 12, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Give me idea how I can monetize my news blog, that have 25,000 unique visitors

  12. Grey Technologies on September 12, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Neil , suppose we are an Ecommerce store selling globally . The results of our SEO optimisation will boost our rankings globally or only for the country we are located in ?

  13. Pictures With Stories on September 12, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    What if I chose a wrong domain name? How can I rebrand?

  14. ABI MENON on September 12, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    An exact example to put what I told earlier is if u want to start fitness website-
    1)work on urself get fit n amaze people, then make youtube channel and be strong on social media.
    2) start a blog and make sure the content is soo amazing that it answers ur followers problem.
    3) give free tools
    4) later monetize.

  15. Vaibhav Arate on September 12, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Heyy Neil, Please change 3 free trails to 10 in Ubersuggest… That will helps lot of bloggers

  16. WHR Marketing LTD on September 12, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Great video Neil, we have used many of your ideas to make over $11,000 per month with affiliate marketing at our digital marketing agency. Would love for you to check out our channel and blogs!

  17. Navlesh Kumar on September 12, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Good explain ,Why people search exact matches domains name overall country because people don’t know this facts?

  18. Abdul Mateen Usman on September 12, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Hi brother, I wanted to purchase a domain which is exac keyword and main keyword of our field and also that is most expensive domain. Should I buy this or not? I will be thankful for your great answer.

  19. Col Blog on September 12, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks Neil! That’s Really Great Explanation.

  20. AR Digital on September 12, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Hi I am a 14 year old business owner and I love your videos and you r a mentor for me thanks for all the good stuff and I am excited for the webinar on 10th

  21. I am Creative on September 12, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Neil please tell me Can i use article forge for my SEO client Website? after Correction manually?

  22. Make Money - Xavier Foxx - Expert SEO on September 12, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    I completely disagree with you on this. I Have made many same name domains hit the top. I have been doing this for over 20 years.

  23. Anand Mishra on September 12, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    You and your ideas are awesome Sir….👍
    Thanks a lot….

  24. Howard Tiersky on September 12, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    This is great! It clears out the confusion that keyword related domains can be much better. Go for building your brand instead. Thanks for this, Neil!

  25. Arinzona Elect on September 12, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    What partial match domain…is it okay?

  26. AMELIN web-production on September 12, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    It’s insane how often you upload so quality content on YouTube Neil! You are marvelous!

  27. ABI MENON on September 12, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    In short all thanks to ur amazing product of urs and the best way u have branded urself . So similar to business it’s all about ur content and how u can make ppl to read that too..😅

  28. Rabie Darii on September 12, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Honestly, it’s not well explained it just makes me so confused because there are always exceptions in which it’s better to have an exact match. what I understand is there is no way to benefit from Exact much which is not true?!?! because there are many SEO strategies in which you can use exact match domains to direct traffic to your website. I hope that you provide any explanation🙏

  29. Grisma on September 12, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    I bought a keyword focused domain a week ago and today you hurt me 😁.

  30. WBT Agency on September 12, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    We believe that this is a good learning.

  31. WP Arabic on September 12, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Seo made easy with you

  32. Vaibhav Arate on September 12, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    This Man will Change Your Life 😍💓

  33. Jago Talks on September 12, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Sir using hyphen (-) in domain name is good or bad for ranking and other factors? Please reply ❤❤❤

  34. Nabi Ullah Khattak on September 12, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Neil, I have a website with the name of themes****.com which age is 4 years but just 2 articles what do you think if i delete these articles and start work on any affiliate low competitive niche on the same website did it will be beneficial for me? website have 15 Da and all links from themes related site, is there any idea to take the benefit from the same website?

  35. Sidh Business Promotions on September 12, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Hey Neil, what about (niche+city).com that seems to be ranking well without much content?

  36. Slotenmaker Klaver on September 12, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    i am a locksmith in the Netherlands, and i have 45 EMD domains like locksmith”city”.com and it works perfect for me, and i rank much faster and more easy then my branded domainname.

  37. Semb Mayer on September 12, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    Million thanks for your valuable tutorials. I learned a lot from your channel 🙏🏻

  38. Anatolii Ulitovskyi on September 12, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Neil is the best. I always learn from him. Wanna add. Think about humans first. Google serves them and has a lot of resources to figure out what your content is. Write texts that satisfy users’ intent.

  39. Vinod Trivedi on September 12, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    How to know and analyze what people are finding on the internet? Please suggest some tools

  40. Vinod Trivedi on September 12, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    How to use data analytics in blogging to find popular topics for ranking and increasing revenue?

  41. gianluca ruggieri on September 12, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Gee Neil, the catfishes of domains’ industry would ban this! How can them sell their one word .com domains for the 5-6 figures they actually try on???
    Btw always great Infos on your channel, 👍👍

  42. Sajmal Salam on September 12, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Really I didn’t agree with that because exact match domains will eventually get more brand loyalty better than any other domains or brand because eventually people will trust that site including Nurse but it takes time

  43. Mesothelioma Lawyers on September 12, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    But…what happen when you put an article with the exactly kw match search ? Is a good seo strategy ?

  44. Sagil Editz on September 12, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    What app do you use to make this kind of presentation videos

  45. Jon Alder on September 12, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Neil, I read that EMDs are a good idea if your focus is a local market, and you can get the domain easily. Is this true? Thank you!

  46. Beled . in on September 12, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Can we have generic domin names for low competitive sites like Quotes Blog and all ?

  47. techfact on September 12, 2021 at 11:10 pm


  48. Anshuman Singh on September 12, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    You are Brand in Yourself love you Neel
    I have my Website it’s been 3 months I started seo currently and bought your Subscription of Ubersuggest hope I will get Results soon

  49. Tanay Ellis on September 12, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Neil, I am confused. Are the prices on your website for if I want to take your courses to access all of the digital marketing information?
    Or are those prices if I want YOU to work on my business?

    I would like to learn digital marketing but was unsure if this was a free YouTube lesson based course.

  50. Asad Ur Rehman on September 12, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    Its really helpful when you make myth busting videos because these myths cost a lot of time that a business can invest on creating quality content.