We've had a few occasions over the years where certain domain names just won't show up in Google. Let me give an example:

Let's say I have a domain that is called www.mybusiness.com. I search for mybusiness.com in Google and that domain pops up as the first result. Now, if I remove the .com part and run the search again, the domain disappears completely from the SERP.

The site has a sitemap.xml file generated, we've linked up Google webmaster tools and have verified the site, it has the necessary meta tags in too and we've also tweaked page titles to the desired lengths.

Some thoughts we had were:

  • The domain is just very young and will start showing up organically over time. Not really an option for clients though. :)
  • There's not enough substantial content on the home page to make the site rank organically?
  • Too few links to the site?
  • Extremely generic name or foreign language in the domain?

I'd appreciate any feedback or insight.

2 Answers 2


Let me answer with example.

You have a domainwith a very unique brand name like www.fme.com. If you write Fme even without .com you will find your website on top. The word my business if too generic and it is highly competitive which makes it diffcult to rank without .com

All you have to do it to give your domain some time like 4-6 months and give it some quality links, You will see your site appearing againts "mybusiness".

And I must say all four reasons you mentioned are correct as well.

  • Thanks for the input, user2434. I guess I'm just so used to seeing the domain naturally float to the top for the base term that's it's a shock when it doesn't. I'll keep an eye on it and play with some variables.
    – RiaanP
    Aug 19, 2013 at 12:59

Starting in September 2012 Google started launching algorithm updates to de-rank many exact match domains (EMD). It used to be that owning keyword.com was a sure ticket to ranking in the top three for that keyword. Not anymore. Now days to rank with an exact match domain you need to have as many SEO signals as other sites that don't have the exact match domain name.

The four reasons you gave are correct, but this is one more: click through rate (CTR). One of the main signals to Google that a brand deserves to rank is when the CTR is very high. When 90% of searchers click on the EMD, Google very quickly realizes that those searchers have "navigational intent". In other words, they searched for the brand or domain rather than typing it into the address bar. When Google sees that there is navigational intent, it will invariably give the top slot to the EMD and usually put additional site links in the listing as well.

If the EMD is not a brand, or if the brand is based on common keywords, a number one ranking is hard to get.

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