Aaron Wall Declares Category Killer Domains Dead: Is He Right? (POLL)

By on May 30, 2011

Last monday, new DotSauce contributor, James Agate published an article on how to survive the exact match domain apocalypse. In the following days, several industry bloggers made counter arguments with attempts to salvage the remaining advantages of “category killer” or generic keyword domains.

However, SEO publications are far and wide sharing a much different story. They cite Google’s latest search ranking algorithm changes (dubbed the “Panda” update) as the final blow to exact match domain value for SEO.

The debate came about slowly as search results pages evolved to something completely different than what was seen a few years ago (shown below) and has climaxed in recent weeks.

exact match search query

Aaron Wall of SEO Book Chimes In

One of the leading authorities on SEO, Aaron Wall of SEO Book, has just published a detailed editorial on how Google killed category killer domains.

He has personally stopped buying domains for SEO purposes and points to numerous factors for the decline in category killer domain value.

Here are the major points he writes about:

  1. Search engines influence domain valuation
  2. Authoritative brands have received a healthy boost
  3. Social search provides additional boost to brands
  4. Larger and more numerous ads and product listings
  5. Localization features may be harmful to GEO longtails
  6. Small sites don’t matter
  7. Anticipated new gTLDs

These all seem to be fairly reasonable observations in my opinion.

The World’s Not Actually Ending

Please note that Aaron does not believe all domains are doomed. We are talking about exact match domains; that is, keywords or keyword phrases that represent a search string a user would type into Google.

I own dozens of these and still feel that they have great value and potential for other reasons than SEO benefit. So, you don’t need to take this as the literal end of the world. There will still be a thriving liquid market for domains.

Aaron made the following important point when responding to one comment.

“There is plenty of buying budget for domains in the say $50 to $5,000 range, but the main point of this post was that the high-six and low-seven figure domain names are at this point often becoming malinvestments.”

What’s Your Outlook?

Do you think Aaron is right or wrong about these domains?

I’ve posed the following poll question fairly straight-forward in the hopes of getting a balanced result. Please select the answer you feel most accurately predicts the near future of category killer domains.

Will category killer domain names increase in value and remain beneficial for SEO?

View Results

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Thank you for responding to the poll question! Please check back soon for the results and feel free to share your thoughts on the precarious future of exact match domains in the comment area.

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About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.