I get asked this question a lot. “If I want to be on the front page of Google for ‘widgets in Barnet’ then I need to buy www.widgetsinbarnet.com , don’t I?”
Now, there’s a lot of disagreement on the truths and lies about domain weighting – does Google give a higher position to someone with the right domain name? Will you be penalised if you don’t have keywords in your domain name?
All I can tell you is that in my experience:
1) If 2 sites are exactly the same in every way looks wise, same optimisation, same links in etc, and one of them has a keyword rich domain name, then yes, the chances are that Google will prefer them over the site with no keyword rich domain name.
2) If 2 sites looked exactly the same, but only one was optimised, and the other one had the keyword rich domain, 9 times out of 10 in my experience, the properly optimised site would get higher listings.
3) Having a keyword rich domain is only one part of the SEO ‘jigsaw’ – if you don’t have one, don’t worry about it – work on the optimisation of the site that is on the domain name that you DO have, and capitalise on the fact that your domain has been around a while.