If your domain is generic and keyword-rich you will have a strong advantage over your competitors. But there’s a catch… the advantage is limited to the words in the domain.
This is best illustrated with an example.
Say you’re a conference organiser, and you operate in Sydney. You might consider a strong search term to be sydney conferences. The best domain you could pick would be sydneyconferences.com. This domain will almost certainly rank within the top 10 results within a very short time of the website being released.
Let’s say however that you also want to rank for sydney conference venues. The domain sydneyconferences.com won’t have the same stong advantage, since it lacks the word venues. But… sydneyconferencevenues.com would be a great winner.
Generic domain names work well for web-based businesses because they often don’t have a strong brand and therefore leverage the large volume of searchers who don’t already know the name of a business to look for in this industry. Established businesses are better off with a domain name which closely reflects their business name.
Although this is great for very popular search terms, you’ll find most generic domain names in high places are already taken. If they’re not… pounce on them!
This is a one trick pony though, as it doesn’t work to register lots of generic domain names and point them at your site. The search engines will only pick up ONE of these domain names, not all of them. Just keep the others as investments.