Say I have a website/blog about 'tech news' at my URL mattynews.com, and my website is dedicated for 'tech news' with friendly SEO, and someone else has a site with the URL technews.com - will they get better results in Google?

My point is - if my site is dedicated to my work, and someone else has my subject in their URL, it gets better results, even though my site is 10x better as in related results in the inner site.

Is that normal? Or is it something I have to deal with/overcome?

5 Answers 5


Google Rankings are highly sophisticated and they depend on far more than just your URL. The core element is PageRank, which is basically an indication of how many other sites link to you, i.e. how many sites consider your site worth the mention. The algorithm is affected by traffic, by external links, by what you put in your <meta> tags, and so on. It's not just whether you have the url technews.com.

If you want your site to do better in the rankings, continue to produce great content, get more people to learn about your site and use it, and start reading about search engine optimization. There are companies that can help you with this, but if your budget is low, read about it and make sure you're ticking all the boxes.

Best of luck.


Ya, you are correct. Google is now giving more importance, if the keyword is present in the URL itself. But however, presently google is working on with the issues like this. The search results will be going to displayed based on quality and relevancy. Keyword stuffed URL will lost its prominence soon. wait and see.

  • Care to show real evidence of this? I don't see keywords being in the URL as being more important now then before as being true at all.
    – John Conde
    Commented May 30, 2011 at 14:32
  • Keywords in the URL are extremely important presently although Matt Cutts from Google says they are considering diminishing the importance of that. I've seen very clear examples where Google serves irrelevant results because a site with high PR has a keyword in its URL even though it does not have content matching the search query.
    – Itai
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 3:38

Who says your site is 10x better? You? I know Google doesn't and that's because the rest of the Internet doesn't either. Also, Google ranks pages, not websites. So if one page ranks well it doesn't mean another page ranks well. They are all judged on their own merit.

Google ranks pages based on quality and relevance. Relevance is determined by content, semantic markup, and anchor text (ok, that's a really simplistic view but it does cover most of it when you think about it). The reason why links are important to Google is they are seen as votes. The other sites is either doing a better job of on site SEO and/or getting more and better links then you. If they are getting more and better links then you then their content is probably better then yours.

Want to outrank that other site? make sure your site is optimized and then produce great content. Without the great content you'll never get the links you need to outrank the competition.

As to your specific question, domain name and URL are ranking factors. But they are not heavily weighted and most likely is not the reason why they outrank you.


Keywords in the domain are just one factor of many and I would say the page title and full URL are just as important, but still not the complete puzzle. Look at your question's URL, for example, and the keywords within. I know I personally get plenty of first-page StackOverflow results when I'm looking for answers to programming problems and there are no relevant keywords in the top-level or sub-domain.

In the long run, I would say just be honest with your content and try to make it as useful, relevant, up-to-date, and easy to find as possible. Make it easy to share and comment via Facebook integration (and the like), utilize pingbacks, SEO-friendly URLs, important keywords for categories and tags, try to find networks that will import your RSS feeds and build up your backlinks.

You can even frequent other tech news sites and write constructive comments and replies to articles to get your name out there more. In a lot of cases they allow you to post your domain or if you have a different, constructive viewpoint or good rebuttal article, link back to it directly.

The quality of information and the more Google sees your site being listed elsewhere on the web, especially from sites already held in high regard, the higher you will rank despite the addition or lack of keywords in your domain on its own.


The question is slightly ambiguous because of the term 'URL' as opposed to being specific about the domain. The URL refers to the whole web page address, including the domain name (good reference for those who want more: http://warpspire.com/posts/url-design/)

Most people who optimize sites for a living agree that having your keywords somewhere in the URL has some benefit in terms of SEO, and that exact match domains, or key-worded domains do fare better (all other things being equal!) than those that don't have keywords in them:

But it is important to recognise, as Itai mentioned in a comment, that this is likely to diminish over time:

In terms of understanding ranking factors (including URLs/Domains), there's a couple of worthy (but not gospel) references:

It really does come down to Jon Conde's mantra however:

Want to outrank that other site? make sure your site is optimized and then produce great content. Without the great content you'll never get the links you need to outrank the competition.

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