Keywords in Domain and URL Important to Bing

by Matthew Diehl on December 9, 2009

MythBusted

This may or may not be a new topic for some people but this helps to provide concrete proof the usage of keywords in your domain name and URL have an impact on the Bing ranking algorithm.

Courtesy of the SEODojo’s Patent Alerts Microsoft has a new patent called “Determining relevance of documents to a query based on identifier distance“.

The title isn’t very descriptive but the patent outlines how keywords in the URL have an impact on the relevance of a document to a search query. So, if keywords in the URL make your document more relevant it will also have a positive impact on your rankings. Also, by “in the URL” this covers the usage of keywords in the domain name as well. Here is how Microsoft spells it out in the patent:

Some techniques for determining the relevance of a web page to a query factor in whether a query term matches a URL term of the URL of a web page. For example, if a query is “USPTO news,” then these techniques may indicate that the web page with the URL of “www.uspto.gov” and the web page with the URL of “www.uspto.gov/news” are more relevant to the query than a web page with the same content but with a URL that did not match a query term.

Going beyond just the general usage of the keywords in a domain name or URL, Microsoft also discloses that the “depth” of the placement of the keywords also has an impact on relevance.

The URL depth priors technique assigns different relevance probabilities based on the URL type. The URL types are ROOT, SUBROOT, PATH, and FILE.

They have also defined a scoring metric to help apply importance to the appearance of keywords in a URL.

The relevance system uses four match types: 0, 1, 2, and no match. A URL match type of 0 indicates that the distance between the URL depth and the URL match depth is 0 meaning that a URL term match occurs in the last level of the URL. A URL match type of 1 indicates that the deepest URL term match occurs in the second to the last level of the URL. A URL match type of 2 indicates that the deepest URL term match occurs at a level other than the last two levels. A URL match type of no match indicates that no URL term matches a query term. For example, the query “wireless communication” matches the URL “cio.doe.gov/wireless/wwg/wwg_index.htm” with a URL match type of 2, matches the URL “cio.doe.gov/wireless/” with a URL match type of 0, and does not match the URL “cio.doe.gov” so its URL match type is no match.

Based on this information you can easily come up with your own grading system to analyze your domain and URLs for their effectiveness on your rankings in the Bing search engine.

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