Dashes In A Domain Name - Good or Bad?

by affiliatesuperstar 23 replies
Apart from being inconvenient does having dashes in your domain name affect your indexing, ranking, or marketing?

Some believe it is bad for SEO whilst others say it doesn't make any difference.

What do you think?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #bad #dashes #domain #good
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  • Profile picture of the author DNChamp
    I say no diffrence as far as seo however as with any good domain the better the EMD (exact match domain) the better for direct type in.


    Lets say you sell hair brushes and some people who only think of .com and nothing else (which is why time and effort should play into your domain name INCLUDING money spent on a good one) will type in hairbrushes.com INSTEAD of hair-brushes.com

    So with a hyphen you lose out on direct type in traffic.
  • Profile picture of the author MeghanK
  • Profile picture of the author Simon Johnson
    At the moment, domains with dashes are treated the same as those without dashes. That may change in the future (depending on the search algorithms).

    The decision on whether to buy or develop a domain with dashes really depends on what you want to use it for. If its for the general public and you are going to promote it by "word of mouth", you want it to be memorable, so dashes might not be the one to use in this circumstance. Hope this helps.

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  • Profile picture of the author AngelMira
    I hear a lot of controversy on this topic as well. I think another point is is domains with hyphens aren't as easy for return visitors to remember... good discussion

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  • Profile picture of the author SteveHunter
    I have domains with hyphens (aka dashes ) and without and haven't noticed a difference in how my rankings are on google page one. though the hypen domains I use - I don't use for branding or on a business card as I think they look bad for that. I use them when a keyword optimized phrase is already taken and the buying a domain with a hyphen is a solution for that.

    I agree with Simon - it depends on what you will use it for.

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  • Profile picture of the author John Wilkes
    What if you hyphen a brand name?
    Just for instance, "Le-gos-et-sale.Com.
    Would Google read it as "Lego Set Sale" and would that be an infringment of the "Lego" trademark?

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    • Profile picture of the author CladestineMarketer
      Dashes are fine and does not pose any problem with regards to indexing of SEO. As long as the website name is not over filled with dashes or too long.

      plus it makes for cheaper domains if it is a very competitive niche domain name.
    • Profile picture of the author rhinocl
      I believe Google sees that as Le Gos Et Sale
      which is not what you would want anyhow, so misplacing the hyphens doesn't get you around brand names. It just keeps you from being found.
  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I have lots of domains with hyphens... probably more than without. And I have never seen a ranking (SEO) difference. So there's that.

    One thing to consider, though, is the perceived value of a domain name if you flip sites or think you might ever want to flip a site you develop. Seems to me that buyers put less stock in a hyphenated domain.

  • Profile picture of the author jtrag
    I've seen situations where domains with hyphens do better than ones without, even though they both used the same two keywords. Therefore, I'd have to say the hyphens in your domain name do NOT have a negative impact on your SEO/Ranking and in fact, may even positively impact your SEO/Ranking.

    I hope this helps clarify this issue for you a bit

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  • Profile picture of the author Sten
    Same for me, I have very well ranking hyphen-domains.
    • Profile picture of the author Hoopatang
      I watched a video today of Matt Cutts from Google talking about getting good rankings and good traffic, and one of the things he specifically mentioned was having hyphens in your URL.

      He said Google likes hyphens, as it makes it easier for the SE to determine what you're trying to say.
      He used the example of ExpertsExchange.com.
      The search engine can see that two ways: one as Experts Exchange. The other as Expert Sexchange.
      HUGE difference there in meaning and what kind of traffic you'll be getting!

      Personally, I see a hyphenated website URL in my search results and I avoid it like the plague; because in my long experience of being on the web I've learned that if it has hyphens in it, it's most likely some sales website built solely for the keywords by someone who doesn't know a thing about the topic but they've got a sponsor product matching that keyword phrase that they want to sell.

      However, I am not your average user. You have to put aside what your own tendencies and pet peeves are and focus on how the average user will react.
      From what most everyone is saying here, it seems that the average user (or at least, their traffic) really doesn't care one way or another if there's hyphens in a domain name.
  • Profile picture of the author lumpy burgertushie
    they are good for keywords . If you are trying to rank for the phrase "blue widgets", having blue-widgets.com is better than bluewidgets.com
    people will not type in bluewidgets all one word.


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