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Having dashes(-) on domain good for SEO and ranking?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by r.arbuis, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. r.arbuis

    r.arbuis BANNED BANNED

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    just like what the title says, Having dashes(-) on domain good for SEO and ranking?

    example I have a site make-money-online.com is that a good domain name?

    Are domains containing dashes hard to rank in google?

    Basically my problem is the dashes. I have a client which is most of his sites has dashes and I'm not sure if those sites will rank in google thats why I'm asking you guys. The domains are already purchased so I cant change it:( and its my clients domain so I cant just say ditch the domain:confused:

    thanks!
     
  2. origin

    origin Regular Member

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    IMO, Google doesn't care whether your domain contains a dash or not, G does care about your contents. Many people don't like to type domain name WITH a dash on its name. If you can't avoid dash inclusion, well, put your unique contents and keywords for your site and you will be just fine with SEO.

    Ranking is about how you constantly updating contents, managing backlinks, and other things.
     
  3. showbizvet

    showbizvet Power Member

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    I always TRY, but don't always succeed in getting a domain without a -. From a SEO standpoint, assuming you have good content, it might not matter. From a human visitor standpoint, typing in a - is troublesome. Still, if it gets good rankings on G.. then it wouldn't matter, since they'd be clicking and not typing.
     
  4. AdisLCS

    AdisLCS Power Member

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    For me it works both ways depending on niche and SE. In my experience it did not seem to matter much if you had dashes or not when it comes down to G, however in general I believe having a main keyword contained in the domain is helpful either with dashes or without. I generally use domains with - for mini sites focusing on narrow semantic keywords. Some SEs, like previously MSN seemed to rank domains higher for the keywords that were in domain with dashes.

    From SE perspective it will come down to content, on site optimization, age, backlinks and other seo factors, from the visitors perspective it is little inconvenient but with plenty "bookmark us" and "tell a friend" sort of widgets it can spread viral.
    When I would advertise some of my sites with dashes offline,like radio, I would provide clean .com with 301 redirect but would notice plenty of visitors coming back from bookmarks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  5. agente808

    agente808 Regular Member

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    From what I remember,
    For domains people type-in, the dashes are a negative.

    but...
    For google/SEM, the dashes can actually work in your favor (they are a good thing).
    Here is some interesting research:
    Code:
    http://www.cyberindian.com/domain-registration/article.php?article_id=113
    http://www.100best-domain-names.com/articles/domain-name-dashes.html
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/dashes-vs-underscores/
    One thing I saw pointed out which makes sense:
    Search Engines take a "best guess" at what the words in your domain name are, but they can get it wrong, so there are phrases for which it's better to use dashes (I think the example was googlespain - is it googles-pain or google-spain ?)

    Basically search engines see dashes as word-seperators which is probably good.

    You do see a lot of comments the more dashes the more likely its a spam site and most people seem to recommend keeping the number of dashes at 1 or 2 max. Although there is no actual SE penalty for lots of dashes, just that people don't like them :silly:

    How many dashes are in the domain names you are talking about?
     
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  6. SRLee

    SRLee Junior Member

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    I currently have 8 domains, with 4 of them having at least 1 hyphens. I recently ordered an XRumer blast for one of them, I'll see if I can rank.

    However, I have personally see domains with dashes ranking on the No.1 spot. So I guess it doesn't matters much, but what agente808 said was good to hear. Reassures my domain name choices. :)
     
  7. littleg2008

    littleg2008 Senior Member

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    I agree, using a dash in your url does count against you. It never used to until 2 years ago when Google tried to cut down on spam sites, and one way they did this was to realise alot of the spam sites out there contained these - in the URL domain. Its a cummalative thing though, 1 dash is slightly negative, 2 is a bit more, 3 is more and so on
     
  8. SRLee

    SRLee Junior Member

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    Having dashes in your URL does not work against you.

    We do not know the exact answer, but I believe having dashes only benefits you AND the Search Engine.

    As to why people don't want to register domains with dashes, I think it's because people are naturally lazy and don't want to type in the dashes. I know I prefer to type URLs without the dashes. :)
     
  9. iradethan

    iradethan Registered Member

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    i have similar situation like this before.

    i have 2 site with "-" on page 1.

    just for example:
    keyword : internet marketing
    and there is a site: internetmarketing.com on page 1
    and if i want to beat that site, i just create internet-marketing.com

    based on my experience, with some backlinking strategy (more quality backlink) and also put as many good quality content to that site, i can easily beat that site on page 1 for that keyword.

    so in my opinion, it is more important to optimize the site with quality backlink and good quality content for better impact on SERP.

    and about using "-" we can use it just for benefit on google SERPS.
    because i think, google show the data on SERP based on site name similar with the keyword and another factor like backlink,content, and etc.

    so, i think just use "-" to make your site as similar as your keyword.
    and don't forget to optimize and put good content on that site.

    Good Luck
     
  10. biks

    biks Power Member

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    Recently, I've been able to consistently get my brand new, well researched niche sites onto Google's first page immediately after being indexed. Takes a lot of looking and checking the stats with Market Samurai. It feels good when it happens.

    The ONLY times I've failed at this is when I used an .info domain or one with dashes. Sure they're indexed, but I tend to see 'em way down in the 200's. I think there's two things going on here - the short term and the long term.

    Short term Google seems to be checking to see if your dash or .info domain is spammy crap. It seems to penalize you in the short term and wants to see how the back links and other things play out. I think eventually that hit goes away and you'll be back to normal. If you've got a client who is breathing down your throat and wants to see results with their dash laden domain, then your gonna look bad in the short term.

    This is just my crackpot theory of course.

    You WILL want to use dashes if you have an adwords campaign and want a website to achieve a 10 quality score for a particular keyword. It seems the only way you'll get a 10 quality score is to have the domain match the keyword your bidding on exactly. At that point, you don't care if you rank organically, you'll be paying to get yourself listed.
     
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  11. Asterixpro

    Asterixpro Junior Member

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    Too many dashes is bad, you do lose some type-in traffic because of that but all things considered is non important.

    Unless like I said you have a domain with +3 dashes then even Google thinks that URL is too damn spammy.


    Authority trumps everything but if you can choose, simply get the one without dashes. And talking about Adwords campaigns I do agree with biks about the need of hyphens for that elusive 10 Quality score, as also inbound anchored links count.

    My testing has showed me that it is easier to get out of the sandbox if you don't have hyphens on your domain and if it's not a .info.

    ////////////////////

    About the client etc.

    You just focus on the internal structure of the site, build good content and keep the interlinking flowing and should not have any problem. Tell the client about how their domain will probably take a longer time to rank. But besides that, keep a good game plan and everything should be fine.

    It has come to my attention that it's also hard to get some good linkbait going with hyphenated URLs -- something you might keep in mind.

    Hope this one helped you.
     
  12. darknuzzie

    darknuzzie Power Member Premium Member

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    The irony of it all ...

     
  13. Rhab

    Rhab Newbie

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    I use to think going with dashes was bad, however I have since changed my opinion. Here's my view on the dashes, my personal preference is to use a domain with NO dashes, based on the human factor of typing a domain in.

    However, for seo purposes and having a site being found through organic search, I don't think it's negative at all. In fact, what I plan to start doing is when I can't get a keyword matched domain, I'll try and get it with dashes. What you often find is that the non dashed domains are always taken, and in most cases are no where to be found on page one or are simply parked domains.

    Recently I have seen quite a few dashed domains ranking in the top positions beating out sites with a greater number of back links. To me that shows that dashed domains can most certainly rank well and further proves the strength of using a keyword domain name.
     
  14. rey2k5

    rey2k5 Junior Member

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    I personally tested. I started out using domain with dashes (.com)... and it doesn't seem to rank well. So I tried domain without dashes (.us) and move the entire site over... after a few weeks, the domain is listed in page #1. Some people have success with domain with dashes, but I personally don't and will continue to prefer domain that doesn't use it.