Using -Hyphen in a Domain Name

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Do you think it would be a disadvantage to use a hyphen in a domain name? Except for the fact of it possibly hurting SEO...would it hurt? There is a similar named domain which does not contain a hyphen, same name, that people may get confused with.

Would it be better to change that name before I get started ( I have not purchased the domain yet). TIA
#domain #hyphen
  • Profile picture of the author CPAPJason
    Do you plan on having type in traffic from offline advertising?

    If not the hyphen won't be an issue for that.
    Click traffic doesn't seem to care, from what I have seen. Hell, people fall for the getting the free tokens for facebook from a blogspot site.

    As for SEO....
    Unless something has changed it looks at words, otherwise the post and page names on WordPress sites would get penalized for having hyphens. Someone other than me should be able to advise more on this, as SEO is not something I do a lot of.
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    • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
      While it is not ideal I do have clients that use hypened domain names and rank quite well (one of them doesn't even use SEO friendly URL's and still ranks). When it is all said and done, if you are providing value to your customers, domain name has little to do with it. Good content, great prices and unique products or positioning is where it is at.
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      • Profile picture of the author pratha
        I agreed with your advice
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    • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
      Originally Posted by CPAPJason View Post

      Do you plan on having type in traffic from offline advertising?

      If not the hyphen won't be an issue for that.
      Click traffic doesn't seem to care, from what I have seen. Hell, people fall for the getting the free tokens for facebook from a blogspot site.

      As for SEO....
      Unless something has changed it looks at words, otherwise the post and page names on WordPress sites would get penalized for having hyphens. Someone other than me should be able to advise more on this, as SEO is not something I do a lot of.
      I do plan on having type in traffic from business cards only promoting the site.
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      • Profile picture of the author dash0205
        I have a website with a hyphenated domain name. It ranks very well and generates more than 25,000 unique visitors every month which is pretty amazing for a less than a year website.
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      • Profile picture of the author CPAPJason
        Originally Posted by Knowledgepa View Post

        I do plan on having type in traffic from business cards only promoting the site.
        Avoid the hyphen, it may get missed when typing, keep type in domains as easy to remember, and type, as possible. People may remember the keywords, but not the hyphens, sending them to the other non-hyphenated domain.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by CPAPJason View Post

          Avoid the hyphen, it may get missed when typing
          What proportion of visitors type url's into a browser? Do almost all, normally, click on a link of some kind, and re-visitors type in a couple of letters and find it in their browser memory anyway?

          Originally Posted by Knowledgepa View Post

          Do you think it would be a disadvantage to use a hyphen in a domain name? Except for the fact of it possibly hurting SEO...would it hurt?
          SEO is the one way it won't hurt. (Hyphens are not relevant to SEO/rankings, as Google keeps explaining).

          Originally Posted by Knowledgepa View Post

          There is a similar named domain which does not contain a hyphen, same name, that people may get confused with.
          That's the problem. You can maybe lose some traffic, in future, to the owner of the unhyphenated domain, and your resale value may be lower, and it may not "look as good" to people (that isn't always so, though: sometimes the hyphenated version can actually look better, as the owners of the Pen Island discovered).

          There are hundreds of threads discussing this and making various observations. Unfortunately they're not always easy to find with the search function, because so many people mistakenly imagine that hyphens and dashes are the same thing, and wrongly refer to them as "domain names with dashes". But if you do a quick search for threads with the word "hyphen" in their titles, that will find you plenty of opinions.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brian John
        Originally Posted by Knowledgepa View Post

        I do plan on having type in traffic from business cards only promoting the site.
        avoid a hyphen if going after type-in traffic

        for what ur doing go w a non-hyphenated .com that's fairly concise and highly related (preferably catchy and easy to remember). i realize that's typically the most highly sought after type of domain, but it's particularly important to have those characteristics when coming from offline
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  • Profile picture of the author SK86
    You will loose traffic to non-hyphen version of the domain name.
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  • Profile picture of the author CPAPJason
    Alexa, he stated that he's going to be promoting offline, so he has a very high type in rate. As I stated in my fir reply, paraphrasing a bit, it's a click world so hyphens won't matter, unless you are doing offline promotions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by CPAPJason View Post

      Alexa, he stated that he's going to be promoting offline, so he has a very high type in rate.
      Oops ... many thanks, and apologies: I had not noticed those words. In which case, absolutely right, of course. Sorry!
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  • Profile picture of the author samex4rill
    i can't advise you to make use of hyphen with your domain because you might loose most of your traffic to the existing no hyphenated domain and its not legal in seo so take note
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    • Profile picture of the author JDSalinger
      Why go for a hyphenated name? Instead, just add a word on the end of the phrase like store, online, shop, etc.. Google says it is reducing the power of keyword domain names anyway. Don't limit yourself with a hyphenated name. Instead, add a word that allows you the option to promote it other ways.
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      • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
        Originally Posted by JDSalinger View Post

        Why go for a hyphenated name? Instead, just add a word on the end of the phrase like store, online, shop, etc.. Google says it is reducing the power of keyword domain names anyway. Don't limit yourself with a hyphenated name. Instead, add a word that allows you the option to promote it other ways.

        This is kind of what I was thinking. But I have already created the Logo and it looks Really good. I have also kind of branded the name already. The name is just adding a "e"- in front on the domain name ie...e-shoes, e-chocolates, e-reading, e-glasses.com. I would much rather keep the hyphenated domain name if it would be feasible.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketkidz
    t's totally not a problem for SEO. Just weird from a user perspective when you tell people www.my "hyphen" site.com and type thru traffic. I personally don't like hyphens for that reason, but i would rather a hyphen and having a much longer available domain name.
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  • Profile picture of the author stonecoldmf
    If you are in a situation where you must use hyphens to
    differentiate keywords correctly , then it is important that you use
    hyphens, and not underscores. While Yahoo and MSN may correctly
    interpret underscores as hyphens, the predominant search engine,
    Google, does not (ie. it reveals different results for hyphenated
    and underscore searches, treating the underscore as a character
    instead of a space.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fanton
    If the other site is in the same business as you, you are definitely in trouble. You may lose customers because of an error if your customers are not careful enough. If you already have the 'e' before the domain, why go through the risk of directing your customers to someone else's site. You can just use eyoursite.com not e-yoursite.com. Someone may mistake the 'e' for email or something else that is not part of the address!
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  • Profile picture of the author OliverTrent
    It's not ideal, but it's not a make or break situation. I would look at creating a brand name over hyphenated keywords though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Popowa
    For SEO important relevance, not a hyphen. For example if you going to sell as affiliate Toasters and Mixers, both domain names will be same for Google:

    toaster-mixer.com
    toastermixer.com

    For more relevance you better add:

    toastermixerstore.com
    toaster-mixer-store.com

    Originally Posted by Knowledgepa View Post

    Do you think it would be a disadvantage to use a hyphen in a domain name? Except for the fact of it possibly hurting SEO...would it hurt? There is a similar named domain which does not contain a hyphen, same name, that people may get confused with.

    Would it be better to change that name before I get started ( I have not purchased the domain yet). TIA
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    You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great ~Zig Ziglar~

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