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We are travel bloggers who run the blog tillthemoneyrunsout.com. We've been traveling for over 4 years now and although the domain name doesn't make that much sense anymore it did when we were traveling on savings. We've been considering changing our domain name to something different like findingourfooting.com or similar.

The main reason we are considering changing the domain name is because we've been getting flagged as spam when posting comments on other blogs using our tillthemoneyrunsout.com email and url and some of our emails have been getting flagged by spam filters. I ran a test where I spun up a brand new instance of wordpress and commented on a post using both the tillthemoneyrunsout.com url/email and a different url/email but everything else the same and only the tillthemoneyrunsout.com comment got flagged as spam. I ended up contacting the very nice people over at akismet (the default comment spam filter in wordpress) and after a bunch of emails they verified that we were incorrectly getting flagged as spam and had to whitelist our domain.

Here's my question. Is our spammy sounding domain name hurting our seo? I'm worried that google is seeing "money" in our name, thinks it might be a scam site and then ranks us a lower on search results. There are probably other places that we're getting flagged as spam as well unbeknownst to me and consequently hindering our growth/traffic. Should we change our domain?

  • Please do not equate anti-spam features found in web software with results you can expect from search engines. Search engines have far more data that can be understood and uses some rather sophisticated mechanisms and methods to make determinations while web based script software, while detailed in presentation, is often lacking in sophistication otherwise. – closetnoc May 19 '15 at 14:28
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For starters, I don't think that your domain name is spammy in terms of SEO but most importantly the words you use in your domain don't have much SEO value anymore. Here is a very insightful and data driven article on URL length and URL keywords from Search Engine Journal.

Regarding SPAM. I would check to make sure that your domain is not blacklisted. Also,its common to get flagged as spam by email clients now a days. Most significant areas to check for this are Subject Line, your Message Content and MOST importantly your bounce rate. Both Subject Line and Message Content need to be high quality and must exclude spammy words. Check out this article with a list of spammy email words. Clean your email list and get rid of all bad emails and un-engaged recipients. Lastly, use a reputable email delivery platform to send out your emails.

Regarding changing your domain name. Unless its absolutely necessary, I would keep your original domain name. When you change your domain name you will lose some of your page authority even if you do the proper 301 redirects. You will also likely lose a chunk on your link profile as well.

That being said, if your site had very low organic traffic and you don't rely on it to generate revenue you could go ahead with the move. Be prepared to see a drop and it might take 3 - 6 months to recover.

  • Thanks for the response. I didn't know that keywords in the domain name didn't effect ranking like they used to but it sounds like that might work to my benefit now. Neither tillthemoneyrunsout.com nor findingourfooting.com have keywords we want, I wasn't wanting to switch for better keywords just to get away from bad ones. Sounds like that's not really an issue anymore, good to know. I think we'll stick with our original domain name, if nothing else, it's a good conversation starter. :) – Dev01 May 19 '15 at 15:02
  • @WootWoot you got it. as long as your domain is easy to remember and not too long you are good to go. This more about click-thru rate then ranking. Changing domain name is usually done due to re-branding and etc. – dasickle May 19 '15 at 15:12
  • Google is searching for keywords in URLs to establish relevancy. They can be matched to specific queries, but it does not guarantee rankings. – Jérôme Verstrynge May 19 '15 at 21:26

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