There’s a lot of discussion surrounding a new video from Matt Cutts.
In it, the prominent Google engineer explains why you should not be swayed into registering a domain name that includes the keywords you are likely to target for your SEO efforts. He provides many examples of successful companies that have a branded domain name–and not a keyworded one.
Then he drops somewhat of a bombshell for all those SEOs that have been relying on the keyword in the domain to do all the heavy-lifting:
Now if you are still on the fence, let me just give you a bit of color. that we have looked at the rankings and the weights that we give to keyword domains, & some people have complained that we are giving a little too much weight for keywords in domains. So we have been thinking about at adjusting that mix a bit and sort of turning the knob down within the algorithm, so that given 2 different domains it wouldn’t necessarily help you as much to have a domain name with a bunch of keywords in it. – Matt Cutts
So, should you panic? Only if you registered something like “ringtones.com” and are sitting at #1 without lifting a finger to optimize it. In other words, the free ride may soon be over for those that managed to secure a keyword-rich domain name and failed to build relevant content or links.