EMD History:

Anyone who follows the SEO world remembers late 2011, 2012 when Google rolled out Exact Match Domain penalties. These updates were meant to curb spam websites who would setup keyword rich domains to rank higher than legit sites. Despite the spam websites having thin content – they would rank high for the simple fact that they had keywords in their domain name. To curb this. Google tweaked its search algorithms to put less relevance on keywords in domain names.

Domains still effect SEO

I’ve had this debate multiple times with other SEO’s and web developers. Most people seem to think Google removed all search weight from domain names. That’s simply not true. They changed their algorithms to weigh the domain search rating based on other factors of your website. Like content, age, back-links and anchor text.

Here’s a couple of case articles and studies from 2016 and late 2017.
https://moz.com/ugc/case-study-the-interconnectedness-of-local-seo-and-exact-match-domains

What has happened was purely an accident, but proves that exact match domains (EMDs) or partial match domains (PMDs) really do work — and work very well.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-history/emd-update/

results seemed to point towards at least some effectiveness of exact match domains remaining today.

https://www.seo.com/blog/does-your-domain-name-affect-your-seo/

Exact match domains took a hit as a ranking factor back in 2012, but they’re still an important part of online marketing for different reasons.

What does this mean?

It means that domain names still hold some search weight but that weight is not a major ranking factor and it highly depends of the content and other ranking factors of your website.

Your websites domain name is one of the most important parts of your website. Brand recognition, trust, anchor text and even links associated with your domain are all huge ranking factors and always will be. Take time when choosing a domain name. Look for a high level domain name that’s going to reflect your brand and website. If the name happens to have keywords in it. As long as your site has strong content, a strong SEO foundation. A keyword rich domain will likely only help!

If someone tells you.

Your domain name has no relevance to SEO

Then rest easy knowing they are absolutely wrong.