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Length of Domain Name & Use of Hyphens

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by MLMGUROO, Apr 27, 2010.

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  1. MLMGUROO

    MLMGUROO Regular Member

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    From what I've learned from my SEO readings, I understand that
    ideally, you want a domain name that is as short as possible when
    it comes to register it for a new found niche.

    Pretty much all of the three character domain names, e.g.
    Code:
    www.sun.com 
    have already been registered and to purchase one would cost ten thousands of dollars.

    It is unlikely a domain name of that caliber would ever appear on
    any of the usual market places out there. But if one has a choice between two similar
    websites, one should go for one with a shorter, more memorable domain name as it
    will have better resale value later on down the line.

    So far so good, but...

    What about the use of hyphens in the domain name?

    Should I be be put off if a domain name I'm considering to buy uses hyphens?

    Would it be all right if it is just one hyphen separating a couple of words or two
    in between three?

    Is it possible that in fact, the use of hyphens may even assist with search
    engine optimization as they separate the keywords used in the domain?

    What is your take on the "Hyphen Question"?

    Please let me know it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  2. showbizvet

    showbizvet Power Member

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    From what I have read, though I have not tested it, the hypen does not affect things in google eyes, but certainly wouldn't be advantageous for a user to remember.

    Thus

    cheaptravel.com

    would certainly be better than

    cheap-travel.com

    for the end user to remember and type in. But if you are only thinking about building links and SERPS, then my understanding is either is okay.
     
  3. houseaz

    houseaz Regular Member

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    I have had no issues so far with the hyphens in my domains I mean I don't choose them by choice but if it is a long tailed key word that is being squatted on I will go for it. If the domain is not being squatted on you really have to consider if that were even 1% of googles determination factor don't do it. I have a couple.
     
  4. MLMGUROO

    MLMGUROO Regular Member

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    @Showbizvet
    @Houseaz

    I appreciate your elucidating comments. Thanks.
     
  5. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    Doesn't matter anymore. Yes, you do get a little bit of a curve with the SE for having a keyword specific domain name but, the current practice is to create a domain name that people will easily remember and want to say, talk about.

    As for hyphens, don't sweat it. The 3 character domains, forget it, as they have nearly all been purchased and are on some domain site for billions of dollars more than they are actually ever going to be worth.

    As for the ' keyword must be in the name ' myth...No it doesn't.

    Proof: Google, ebay, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc.

    Make it what sounds cool to you and is available. Don't overthink it.
     
  6. houseaz

    houseaz Regular Member

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    I don't think the myth is about having the keyword in the domain UNLESS you are doing niche marketing THEN it makes a difference. If you are launching a web 3.0 mega dynamite thing then name it whatever you want.

    If I was doing a niche site about superman and called it orangesandapples.com it might be a little harder to rank for this.
     
  7. jaiden

    jaiden Newbie

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    Hyphens can be great for finding domain names... however, they aren't more advantageous than non-hyphens, as the big G is quite adept at chunking out keywords from the list anyway.

    I buy them all the time however.
     
  8. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Sure a keyword specific domain will be a little easier to rank, but the operative word here is little. If you do all the other work neccessary then you should be able to rank orangesandapples.com just as well. If that weren't the case then google bombing wouldn't be possible.
     
  9. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    Doesn't matter in any niche really. I do this all the time. Take a domain and register it anything ' respectable ' and ' clean '. It will rank. It would be ' super ' easy to take a site like orangesandapples.com and make it about superman. In a heartbeat, by simply making it the pros and cons or opposing views of fans of the hero.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  10. houseaz

    houseaz Regular Member

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    Oooh I like that approach...very nice indeed. Hrrrmmmm. (puts on thinking cap)
     
  11. bo2kmm

    bo2kmm Registered Member

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    I disagree with the above statement - not so much that it's technically wrong, but just misleading.

    Yes you could take a site called orangesandapples.com and make it about superman, and successfully rank it. HOWEVER that said, if you did exactly the same / equivilent amount of work linkbuilding and content and everything for a domain totalsuperman.com or something like that I can almost guarantee the totalsuperman.com domain would rank higher.

    Basically what I'm saying is you don't NEED keywords in the domain name to rank, BUT it definitely IS a factor Google considers - just the fact it puts the keywords in bold tells us that beyond anything else. I've also seen plenty of examples of a new keyword perfect match domain jumping ahead of older domains with MUCH better link profiles based on this. I've also personally had examples where i have restructured a site using URL rewriting so that the keywords are in the URL (Ie www.applesandoranges.com/superman ) and this is definitely a benefit as well, but not as much as in the domain itself.

    Sure you can rank any domain for anything - but why make things harder for yourself!

    Matt
     
  12. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    Hey Matt,

    Interesting point. However, the fact of the matter is that google only gives the keyword domain name a slight curve. The content and the links coming in and out of the site are what gives it the ability to rank, as I've said in regards to this countless times...Google is in the ' information ' business.

    As for the orangesandapples.com domain, there is nothing misleading about it, as it is clearly targeted to a micro niche cross relevance. I won't get into the deeper end of how this works but, the long and short of it is that people who target domain names precisely to their keywords are actually cutting off the ' social marketing ' aspect...By this, I don't mean web 2.0 social sites but, more of the easy and ability for people having their attention grabbed.

    To further prove the point here, Ebay for example has nothing in it's domain name to do with ' auctions ' but they are the number one ' auction ' outlet due to their customer generated content, with auction posts, articles and other services and content...all relevant to auctions.

    Another example, would be google. The top search engine in the world and it is in that position because it has the largest content relevance in the world for searching something. MSN search was changed to ' Bing ' now due to people liking to say google more and it is far more hip and less clinical. With ' MSN search ' being their domain name on the actual landing page with the MSN.com site, how is it that ' google ', which is the infinant largest number that you can count to, having nothing associated with ' search ' or ' search engines ' as the keyword.

    Other examples of this in practical use and tried, tested domains are ; twitter, facebook, myspace, yahoo,...just to name a few.

    So, in the end, that fraction of a rank point that keyword matched domains hold don't matter. It is the content relevance onpage and in blacklinks that matter most.

     
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  13. deenmean

    deenmean Junior Member

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    if you are selling "my butt hole stinks" and your potential client will do a google search for "i want a stinky butt hole" then get a domain "Iwantastinkybutthole.com" and if that one is not aval, get "Iwantastinkybutt-hole.com" and do nto use more that one-.
    It does not matter what you are selling, it only matters what your potential client may search for.
    Also get "ilikestinkybuttholes.com" if you think they may search for that.
    Put the potential seach words in the key words, description, and the first part of the web page and in the title.
     
  14. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    The reason you outranked those other sites can't be precisely cornered here to the actual factor without seeing the differences but I would almost guarantee that your effectiveness to dominate those competitors came from your backlinking, targeted content and you simply out seo-ing them for position...having nothing to do with your keyword being in your target site.

    Since 1998 in the chain of google slaps, this was their number 1 problem, where people could target a niche market and dominate it with keywords in the domain and saturated throughout the page. Due to the associated issues with that, Google has since devalued the keyword in the domain name and bases all of their serious ranking energy to come from the relevance of the content onsite with the keywords listed for the site.

    That falls under the same category as keyword stuffing...if you post your keyword 10 times in your content, you will get a couple of points but, I guarantee you that if you mention relevant content, based on LSI and associated phrasing, you will beat that site using the direct keyword everytime.



     
  15. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    Why would you go out of your way to target your domain name as your keyword phrases?

    The whole purpose of keywords are to target them to your site with relevant content, not to create a website based from them. That is a seriously pointless approach, due tothe fact that it would be so much more practical to target a single socially cool sounding domain name that gets a laugh or is easy to remember and publically say...only to dominate all of the related keywords for that given niche.

    That is one of the points of seo conversion. You are doing a ton of work for little benefit and I doubt any profit.

    Working example: Blindsidelovin.com would be funny as hell, not to mention easy to remember and say in public for word of mouth viral marketing. The ' anal ' relevant keywords would be a shoe in for dominating that market.

    The point is to use a play on words and your site will be easily remembered and utilized over a boring site domain name that has the keyword in it. You have to learn to market your domain as a real business and virtual real estate property...Branding the domain is the most important thing for the social aspect of your marketing plan...to avoid this is to lose out on a ton of potential traffic.


    However, my personal choice is to build longer lasting commercial properties and not short term throw away sites either though. To each their own.




     
  16. homenet

    homenet Power Member

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    It all depends what you want to do with the site.

    If your planning on building a site that you want people to remember then get a decent memorable domain name and dont worry about the keywords.

    If your planning on building a site to promote and are also planning on selling it down the line then do the same as above.

    If you just want a site that ranks for a keyword and will get you sales from a cpa offer then I would go for a domain with the keyword in.
     
  17. magpie2419

    magpie2419 Regular Member

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    Absolutely agree with Matt having the main keyword in the name makes it easier, and yes Google will Bold that part of the name, also ask yourself why such highly rated software developers such as Market Samurai check for keywords in the domain name when looking at SEO competition. For me always try for your main keyword in your domain, always try to buy a .com, try to keep away from hyphens.