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[Question] Using Dashes In A Domain

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by englandrm, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. englandrm

    englandrm Senior Member

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    I've done well using dashes in domains in the past, but had this weird question; as I think I may be buying up a few new sites. They don't work as well for branding, but strictly from an SEO perspective.

    Here's the question:

    If my main keyword is "red blue green," the ideal domain would be RedBlueGreen.com

    If that's taken, I'd probably choose Red-Blue-Green.com

    But that's taken also. What are the thoughts of Red-BlueGreen.com?

    Worth it? Any experience, or advice?

    Thanks. ~englandrm
     
  2. tonib

    tonib Power Member

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    There should be little-to-none difference between Red-Blue-Green or Red-BlueGreen. The only minus I can think about is that it will be harder for the returning visitor to remember the link.
     
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  3. JFoulds

    JFoulds Power Member

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    If I desperately want a domain and the EMD is taken, i'll be satisfied with a hypenated EMD.

    If I desperately want a domain, the EMD is taken, and the hypenated EMD is taken, I'd always pick a better sounding partial MD than a partially hypenated EMD - from my experience people would always rather go to RedBlueAndGreen.com than Red-BlueGreen.com
     
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  4. Moped

    Moped Newbie

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    I think there are also differences from branding perspective. often people relate the URL to a brand and it helps if your format is easy to recall
     
  5. goinviral

    goinviral BANNED BANNED

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    They do work fine but yeah branding is a problem. If I want to dominate a keyword I will take all the EMD.com .net and .org and the E-M-D.com .net and .org. On some occasions the dashes do better in the serps than the EMD but when I have an EMD right under the dashed version the EMD still gets more clicks even though it is lower in the serps. This is always the case in this situation and I guess people dont trust dashes as much.
     
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  6. trustedfire9

    trustedfire9 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    for "red blue green" google will consider Red-BlueGreen.com as 2 words "red"
    and "BlueGreen" and not one word , if the keyword "Red_BlueGreen" google will consider it one word "red blue green" , the reason of that because Google created by programmers knew that programmers often search about programming , many programming languages use the underscore character
    in such ways that Class is different from _Class .
     
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  7. DutchRebel

    DutchRebel Regular Member

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    always take redbluegreen.net or .org over domains with hyphens..
    when they are also taken you can start using hyphens, or when possible consider blueredgreen.com/net/org

    .com/.org/.net tld's are international, so there isn`t much difference in ranking them. .com is just preferred because people associate the internet with .com.

    using hyphens lowers the keyword density in your domain, for keywords with low to medium competition it pobably won`t matter to much, but in high competition niches it could put you at a disadvantage from the get go.

    if you are activly targeting the us market, your best option is using .us domains..
    these are unbelivable underrated because everybody is horny for .com and the world is trained to see the .com extension as standard.
    as a result, for branding .com always is best! if you want to brand your site always use .com and never, never use hyphens

    but for seo .us is much better. just as .ca is best for canada, .de is best for germany and .nl is best for holland.

    with .com your just telling google your site is a commercial site, and .org actually was designed for organisations. These don`t define a target market because they are general tld's..

    with .us you`re telling google you run an american site, targeting usa people. As a result it also limits trafic from other countries like afrikan, asian andtraffic from the rest of the world, simply because google sees you as a site for usa people, so you wont rank in other countries.

    better rankings where you need them and less useless international traffic will eventualy result in better conversion rates, higher adsense ctr + epc and email lists that are more targeted to you're needs.

    as you see, a simple answer just isn`t possible. it really comes down to what you intent to achieve with youre site.

    - if you want to brand your site. .com is the only way to go and hyphens are a nogo!! better use a more general but catchy and easy to remeber domain, or maybe a funny domain that will linger in peoples minds.
    - when you are running a site that can handle and convert worldwide traffic .com/.org/.net and .info are all equal in terms of seo. Here hyphens are no problem, unless you are in high competition niches
    - if you want to target just usa people and want best rankings in the usa, dump .com and make .us your first choice TLD every time.

    for example, keyword tageted .nl domains just about always beat .com domains in google netherlands. even though .com's also rank fairly well in holland. same goes for .us domains in usa. .us over .com in terms of seo..

    ever seen a .us domain in local search engines outside usa? i haven`t, not even once.Just like you never seen a .nl domain in your search results. while here in holland just about all domains in top 20 are .nl in any search query.

    google sees your site in a fundamental different way then ordinary people do.. you just need to choose who you want to please? google or people! the classic dilemma.

    you're site will always be a compromise between the two.. Optimal SEO usualy ruins user experience. while attempting to create the best user experience for visitors will always force you to make concessions at seo optimalisation.
    finding the best ballance is key !

    greetz roger
     
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    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  8. jascoken

    jascoken Senior Member

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    All my test show minor differences, with the non-hyphenated domain usually performing better...

    But hyphens can be better than adding longer post/pre-fixes. Over-hypenation or double-hyphenation is a no-no; as in "key--word-domain". Avoid using multiple hyphens at all costs as it looks very low quality/spammy.
     
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  9. englandrm

    englandrm Senior Member

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    Thanks for all the help. Again, this is just for SEO purposes, and not so much for the branding. I can definitely understand how using the dashes could negatively affect the click through, but in this specific niche; I don't see that being an issue.

    I've always heard, if the .com isn't available, go with the net or org. I've done that on several occasions, but haven't had much luck getting them ranked. I've found adding the dashes in or adding an HQ to the end of the domain, gets the job done better.

    Thanks again for all the help, I'm about to drop a few hundred dollars on domains blowing up this niche. ~englandrm