What is better a shorter domain with a dash or a longer one with no dash?

gandalf117

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For example is it better if the domain contains two words but needs to be separated by a dash? Or is it better when it contains three words but no dash?

Which one do you think is more user friendly and which one is more search engine friendly?
 

Crixus

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User friendly will probably be without the dash. SE friendly depends on the keys you're targeting and that extra word.
 

teeniegenie

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Stats I've seen run on this say any dash really kills your site for SEO purposes in Google. Yahoo does not seem to care. Keep your domain (including the " h t t p : / / w w w . ") to 40 letters or less and you'll be ok (but 30 letters or less is preferable). If you are close to the 30/40 mark take the " w w w . " out of the domain name (had to space it out so the post would go through).

Hope that helps.
 

undelia

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I would pick a domain without dashes, user friendly or not. My experience with dashed domains hasn't been too good.
 

Driz30

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I personally always try to go for a domain without any dashes. I have heard several other people say they do that as well and if they really have a key word phrase they want as a domain they just add a word to the end of it instead.
 

holtaa

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Interesting. I stray away from dashes, as well. Didn't know it was bad for SEO, though - even more reason to avoid it.
 

*Candi*

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I've seen plenty of dash sites rank high so I don't know if I can agree with this.
 

MisterGemini

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WTF is all this talk about dash domains being no good for SEO? Did someone skip me when they passed around the ganja?

Fact of the matter is, if you want your keyword to be clearly recognized by Google.. or more importantly, by the searcher who looks at your domain to readily identify what it is, it will be more easily read... by both. Everyone knows Google treats the - as a space (at least I hope everyone knows). Your domain like-this.com is then read 'like this' to google.

Why in the world is without dashes user friendly?

isiteasiertoreadthis.com ?
is-it-easier-to-read-this.com ?

Seems clear to me which is more 'friendly'. This is a little over the top, but even on a lessor scale the same applies.

I was on the other side of the argument like most here a few years ago... but the more I dived into it and looked at the facts, the more I saw that people just had piss pore results due to other things they were doing, and blame the domain.

Keyword specific domains are on the downturn. Combine your desired keyword with some kind of brandable twist and you will see better results.

I'm not just talking either, I'm doing. Right after this post I am going to purchase 30 more domains that.. OH.. guess what.. all have a - in them. :)

They are all short. Most have one - while some have two. They are all rather short, and all give an excellent spin on branding my core term. When users see it in the SERPs to click on, they will get the impression of clicking on an authority.. not some mini-site peice of crap with spun articles covered in adsense that doesn't help them at all that has an exact-matching-keyword-list-this.com.

Hint - Keep your domain short so you have more character room for where you really want your keywords to perform, in your page URL. Generally if I can help it, my domains don't go beyond 14 characters. Most of my domains are under 10 characters WITH the -.

How are the ones doing I already got? I hardly had a chance to do anything to them and they got indexed within 3 days and I'm already enjoying a steady stream of comment spam coming into them. :)

Use - all you like.

I'm sure this is going to get bring a brash of people citing their own examples of how this is all wrong, but my own results speak louder than whatever mistakes people make with their own stuff. :)
 

balric

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My sites without dashes rank better then the ones with. I have seen it many times myself. It might not be a rule but it has convinced me to go with no dashes for most of my domains. I have over 200 domains now.
 
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Persistent

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The more specific your domain to your product/service-the better. I would avoid any dashes and hyphens in domain name. Long domain that contains very specific phrase is better than short with dashes. Good reference to finding proper and specific wording for your domain is to use Descriptionary. it's very helpful for choosing right words.

Also keep in mind people rarely use more than 2000 words in their daily conversation, so your domain name should contain some of the most used words to memorize faster your domain. PM if you want to get desciprionary in pdf format and I'll ad you as bonus 1000 most used English words.
 

aladin

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I use only with dashes because ( in my case ) that was available for a .com or a .net site. Medium results. I struggle with google. . But i am not good at seo.

Please I have a questions for all:
I see many people telling that I have 200 domains, 100 domains, 400 domains...and more for their sites niches..

400 domains X ( around ) 3-10 dollars =1200- 4000 DOLARS to pay on a YEAR !!!!!

It is true?a such amount of money??? ( I guess you earn something from that sites..)
 

khirad

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As long as I know they are not earning with all of their domains Earning with 20-30 % of their domains

Working on 20-30%

And major portion of domains are those they dont want to loose so they keep them until they get time or idea to establish them

I use only with dashes because ( in my case ) that was available for a .com or a .net site. Medium results. I struggle with google. . But i am not good at seo.

Please I have a questions for all:
I see many people telling that I have 200 domains, 100 domains, 400 domains...and more for their sites niches..

400 domains X ( around ) 3-10 dollars =1200- 4000 DOLARS to pay on a YEAR !!!!!

It is true?a such amount of money??? ( I guess you earn something from that sites..)
 

MisterGemini

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Move those earning numbers to more like per week or per month, and you have a more realistic picture of the earnings.

There are more reasons to have a portfolio of domains than to have them all earning some kind of money, but they can contribute to a major site making money in several ways. Managing and maintaining that many sites becomes impossible... and when you substitute the pure sugar goodness of quality for the low calorie sweetener of quantity, you get the cancer of poor performance.




I use only with dashes because ( in my case ) that was available for a .com or a .net site. Medium results. I struggle with google. . But i am not good at seo.

Please I have a questions for all:
I see many people telling that I have 200 domains, 100 domains, 400 domains...and more for their sites niches..

400 domains X ( around ) 3-10 dollars =1200- 4000 DOLARS to pay on a YEAR !!!!!

It is true?a such amount of money??? ( I guess you earn something from that sites..)
 

BinaryGenius

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In general, non-hyphenated names are more user friendly, but occasionally a hyphen is needed to get the much better name. Also, it can stop some confusion.... a name like chef-art just looks wrong without a hyphen :D.
 

teeniegenie

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MisterGemini,

I love your posts, but we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. All else being equal, a domain without a dash is superior to the same name-domain with a dash as far as SERP rankings go...to each his own I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a domain with a dash can't rank well, but I think it takes more SEO work than the same domain without the dash. Just my two cents.
 

howard_hughes

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MisterGemini,

I love your posts, but we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. All else being equal, a domain without a dash is superior to the same name-domain with a dash as far as SERP rankings go...to each his own I guess.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a domain with a dash can't rank well, but I think it takes more SEO work than the same domain without the dash. Just my two cents.

I don't think so.

I had a .com domain with 3 hyphens rank #1 for medium competition in less than 3 weeks so I really think hyphens don't matter much.
 

Crixus

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Fact of the matter is, if you want your keyword to be clearly recognized by Google.. or more importantly, by the searcher who looks at your domain to readily identify what it is, it will be more easily read... by both. Everyone knows Google treats the - as a space (at least I hope everyone knows). Your domain like-this.com is then read 'like this' to google.
So, are you saying likethis.com is not read 'like this' by google? That goes against exact match domains working.


Why in the world is without dashes user friendly?

isiteasiertoreadthis.com ?
is-it-easier-to-read-this.com ?

Because is-it-easier-to-read-this.com looks like spam and is less likely to be clicked. The serp title listing is read first, then the domain, so it's not like the user has no clue what words are in the domain.

Seems clear to me which is more 'friendly'. This is a little over the top, but even on a lessor scale the same applies.
Over the top yes, but anything over 1 dash starts looking spammy. The more dashes, the more spammy.

Furthermore, any type marketing aside from traditional seo is hurt using dashes. "Hey! go to my-dash-site.com." vs. "Hey! go to mysite.com." To me this equates to being more user friendly, but that's my interpretation of the question.

I was on the other side of the argument like most here a few years ago... but the more I dived into it and looked at the facts, the more I saw that people just had piss pore results due to other things they were doing, and blame the domain.
I agree. I don't see much difference in dashed domains vs without, right now. This has not been the case in the past, where dashed domains have been penalized, and that may reappear sometime in the future. I don't see how non-dashed domains would ever be penalized, for not having dashes.

Keyword specific domains are on the downturn. Combine your desired keyword with some kind of brandable twist and you will see better results.
Agree with the first statement, a least for large projects. However, how in the heck is a brandable domain worth squat with dashes? Unless you mean brandable only via SERP clicks?

I don't think a legit-sounding site/business name for a domain, which includes a dash, makes for branding. It may instill more trust, but this could also be achieved without the dash, which would have much more ability for real branding purposes.

I can't think of any examples of branded sites that most people will recognize, that include a dash.

Use - all you like.

I'm sure this is going to get bring a brash of people citing their own examples of how this is all wrong, but my own results speak louder than whatever mistakes people make with their own stuff. :)
I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with using a dash, it is just different. Dashes have uses, but branding ain't one of 'em.

And yes, I have many domains/sites with dashes, some single, some multi and many without. The dashed domains can work fine, but at one time multiple-dashed were nuked from page 1, which is always something to consider.
 

Markbh

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No dashes is the best. I would suggest using one dash for getting a better domain name is justified. It may take a bit more SEO, but with the content solid, it will rank. Two or more dashes does look spammy. And I agree fully - for branding a dash is no good (think micro-soft).
 
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