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Does having dashes in your domain effect SEO ability?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Gupnup, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Gupnup

    Gupnup Regular Member

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    Hey guys,

    Im about to buy a domain, but non of the domains are available without dashes.

    Would buying something like this be alright?

    "Word1-Word2Word3.com"

    Instead of:

    "Word1Word2Word3.com"

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MisterTwister

    MisterTwister Regular Member

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    The consensus is that dashes don't make any difference to SERPS but the domain name might look ugly if you go past more than 2 keywords seperated by dashes. A mix of dashes and non dashed keywords might look untidy.

    SEO will affect the ranking of the site not the dashes.
     
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  3. Gupnup

    Gupnup Regular Member

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    Alright,

    Well my target is pure SE traffic via SEO of course :p So Im just trying to cram in as many keywords as possible :p

    I think I found a good .com, only 1 dash and its not "random" you get a nice little phrase then a dash and a word.

    Good keywords, while still being uniform and tidy.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. madoctopus

    madoctopus Supreme Member

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    From what I have seen and studied, all things equal, the order for 100% keyword domains is like this:

    By TLD:
    1. Local TLD (e.g. .de, .fr, etc.) if the search originates from that locale.
    2. .com (seems to outperform .us for searches from USA)
    3. .net & .org
    Note: I was never interested in other general TLDs as .info or .biz

    By Words:
    1. without dashes (e.g. Keyword1Keyword2.com)
    2. with dashes (e.g. Keyword1-Keyword2.com)
    3. without dashes, changed order (e.g. Keyword2Keyword1.com)
    4. with dashes, changed order (e.g. Keyword2-Keyword1.com)

    The .com domain without dashes, and with the keywords in the right order (Keyword1Keyword2.com) has a significant advantage over the others (other TLD or with dashes). It seems that Google sees it as the official site or something like that.

    If there is even just a single character (except dashes) that is not part of the search phrase, you get absolutely NO advantage. To get an advantage the domain must be 100% match with the search phrase. That means TheKeyword1Keyword2.com offers no advantage over SomeLongTextKeyword1Keyword2.com.

    From my personal experience it seems that you do not get the advantage immediately when you lunch the site, but after a while (a few months).

    It helps if you have:
    1. Title of homepage EXACTLY the search phrase / keywords in domain name (e.g. Keyword1Keyword2.com -> title should be EXACTLY "Keyword1 Keyword2")
    2. Most incoming links EXACTLY the search phrase, some links the search phrase + other words.
    3. Text of H1 tag on homepage EXACTLY the search phrase (identical to page title).
    4. Search phrase present in the text of the homepage

    Personal results (Google):
    1. K1K2K3.net -> ranking #5 with about 20 inbound links, after half a year. The keyword is low competition, low search volume, but I would have not ranked there if the domain would have not been 100% search phrase.
    2. K1-K2-K3.net -> just launched, 1 inbound link, #350 in SERPs. I expect a significant jump after I build some backlinks.

    Bottom line: 100% keyword domains help with rankings, however, for great results you should couple them with solid on-site SEO and link building.
     
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  5. caroline42

    caroline42 Junior Member

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    Very well explained madoctupus, I observed similair rules (if not the same) should remind everyone that a proper onpage optimization can save you tons of links.
     
  6. blackhat-dudette

    blackhat-dudette Regular Member

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    Well put,

    The exact match of buying kw in the domain does help with some of the less competitive phrases, especially local searches.

    Some good old school on page SEO can go a long way. I don't understand the people that look past it.
     
  7. NapsteR

    NapsteR Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  8. jimbo87

    jimbo87 Regular Member

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    Good explanation, fairly similar to my findings.

    James
     
  9. moneymachine01

    moneymachine01 Regular Member

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    All things being equal which of these would rank better ...

    keyword1-keyword2.com

    keyword1keyword2.net
    keyword1keyword2.us
    keyword1keyword2.co