Search Engine Journal is out with a piece about the myth of keyword rich domains and their correlation to improving search engine rankings.
From the article:
Duane Forrester, Sr. Product Manager of Bing, claims it’s a myth that keyword rich domain names improve search engine rankings in a post published yesterday on the Bing Webmaster Blog.
This came about after Forrester attended Namescon and overheard people discussing how keyword rich or exact match domain names can make or break your site. Claiming that’s just a myth, Forrester took it upon himself to debunk this theory.
Ten years ago there may have been some truth to that way of thinking, Forrester says, but today rankings depend on so many more signals that domain names alone are starting to mean less and less. This is beneficial from both the search engines’ and the searchers’ points of view because it results in better content ranking higher instead of rewarding those who are trying to manipulate the rankings.
Read the full article here
Perception or reality has certainly changed over the years, let’s flashback to 2010 and this article from Moz.com
Michael Cottam in that article wrote:
It’s a well-known fact in the SEO world that Google shows enormous favoritism in its rankings to domain names that contain one or more of the keywords being searched for. If your domain name is a close match to the search keywords all glued together, it’s as easy as fishing with dynamite to get on page 1 of the SERPs for that search phrase. While some (like me) might argue (like, against Rand) that it’s a flaw in the algorithm, it’s not a bug–Google deliberately favors this kind of match. If the search is a company name, well the reasoning why [that phrase] .com should rank #1 is obvious…and for everything else, well…it’s pretty reasonable for Google to presume that a site named, for example, www.lightbulbs.com is probably pretty much about light bulbs. Whether it’s the BEST site for light bulbs is of course another story.
By 2011 Matt Cutts weighed in on a video: