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Domain name selection...Hyphens or Suffix??

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by mreza001, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. mreza001

    mreza001 Junior Member

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    Ok I know that setting up micro niche sites with exact match domains (where competition is weak) gives an added boost to your rankings along with usual on-page and off-page SEO (I have achieved several #1 rankings and many other top 3 rankings using this method with a few months). When the competition has been weak I have gotten a site ranking on the first page right after being indexed with no backlinks (just on-page SEO). So this is the type of sites I will be talking about here.

    Now my question is when I do find more of these low competition niches with decent amount of monthly searches and the exact match domains are taken (the com/net/org are all taken) as far as SEO is concerned (and Google algo) is the next best thing to go with a domain with suffix or is it better to do domain with hyphens.

    So for example if my niche keyword is "cheap blue widgets" which of the following is better?:

    "cheapbluewidgetsguide.com" or "cheap-blue-widgets.com"

    I'm not concerned about branding or if people will remember my site, just want to rank high in SERPs for organic search. So in terms of SEO which one of the two is considered more SEO friendly and be closer to the exact match domain when it comes to getting that boost? Since now so many of the exact match domains have been taken I haven't ventured into going to many of these niches. But if not having the exact match only adds maybe an extra months time before ranking better than that is no big deal and that opens up so many more niches.

    So does it take alot longer to rank when we add a suffix to the keyword even with the competition being weak? So if three sites for "cheap blue widgets" were setup, one with exact match,one with hyphens, and one with suffix and onpage seo/offpage SEO being the same would Google favor one domain when it comes to ranking one of them in the top 10 (assuming competiton is weak that warrants easy listing in the top10).

    Anyone has anything feedback on this or can share their experience?
     
  2. shapsp

    shapsp Power Member

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    suffix are better.
     
  3. mreza001

    mreza001 Junior Member

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    So then the question would be if that exact match domain could have been ranked on the first page right after being indexed (with just on-page SEO) would this same keyword domain now with suffix be treated the same way?

    Or does Google take away a bit of that boost right off the bat since we have added a suffix and diluted the keyword now?

    If G does that then wouldn't a domain with hyphens be better (since G disregards the hyphens and now it would an exact match domain again) then for that purpose or no?
     
  4. shapsp

    shapsp Power Member

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    add a suffix.
    do backlink for the term that you are targetting.
    do anchor texts.
    It will get u on top. :)
     
  5. summertime1

    summertime1 Junior Member

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  6. polocolto

    polocolto Regular Member

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    I have problens ranking domains with hyphen. Maybe it is just me but when i get a domain without hyphens i generally can rank it on 1 page within 2 months or so. My 2 domains with hyphens are on 3rd page and don't budge, even though i build links. That is just my experience with only 2 domains with hyphen.
     
  7. blight12

    blight12 Regular Member

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    I have tested this. In all cases, the "-" always looses. If possible, always use keyword1keyword2keyword3.com and NOT keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com.

    For some reason (for me at least) google does NOT see those with - as exact match and it does'nt get the ranking bonus. A - is the devil (to me anyways)
     
  8. bizroot

    bizroot Supreme Member

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    Google doesn't recognize them so i don't think it will be any problem but i also avoid them, reason they don't put confidence in people and Google give good importance to people behavior about your site... Just my thought, may be other will disagree, may be i am paranoid... :)
     
  9. mreza001

    mreza001 Junior Member

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    So then you are suggesting to go with a suffix addition and use a .com instead of hyphen dot com?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. flaktrak

    flaktrak Power Member

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    I am finding hyphens hard to rank also. They do rank eventually but it takes alot more effort! and mine seem to drop out of serps whenever I stop working on them. where as sufix domains seem to stay on with little work.
     
  11. edgematch

    edgematch Elite Member

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    An addition. I have read that using linking words like "and" in domain names is better since google do not take care of it. So your domain "cheap blue widgets" can be coded as "cheapandbluewidgets.com"
     
  12. cnick79

    cnick79 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    What about prefixes using "e" or "i"? If you had eCheapWidgets vs. cheap-widgets.
     
  13. 500leads

    500leads Newbie

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    I've read a lot about people having trouble ranking with hyphens, and for the longest time I subscribed to the rule of "short, keyword rich, no hyphens"...

    However, over the past year or so, I've had to make the same choice as OP several times, hyphens or suffix. I've gone with hyphens and seen no adverse affects - and have ranked top 5 (multiple phrases) of Google for these domains.

    I have NOT split tested hyphen vs suffix for these domains. So the question I can not answer is: If I get a # 3 or 4 or 5 with hyphens, would I get # 1 or 2 with suffix ??

    But I can tell you that you definitely can rank with hyphens.