Domain names with a hyphen, good or bad idea?

by Aika7
27 replies
I want to register a domain name with hyphen between words, something like: domain-name.com. This 2 word keyword gets around 50k Broad Global Monthly Searches and 6k Exact searches. How will the hyphen effect the ranking of my site? (the original domainname.com is taken but it appears to be down since I get "problem loading the page" if I try to visit it.)
#bad #domain #good #hyphen #idea #names
  • Profile picture of the author Lena
    I would try to contact to the domain owner & see if he has any plans on getting domain up & running. If not, just offer him to buy it. I personally would not get domain with hyphen but at the same time if you are not planning SEO or other scary stuff related to SEO or if you know what you are doing GO for it. At the end of the day its all about taking action

    Hope it helps,
    Lena
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    For seo you will get a lot of the benefit. Nowhere near as much but much better than a non emd domain. For domain flipping it will be no more than 1/10th or even 1/100th the value of the emd.
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  • Profile picture of the author danwood
    i have no problems with seo with hifened domains
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Hyphens aren't relevant to SEO in any way.

      The issue isn't so much about the hyphen, in my opinion: it's about whether you want to build a business on a domain-name of which the unhyphenated version already belongs to someone else.

      Personally, I like hyphens in domain-names and think they can make word-combinations easier to read. But if you're expecting type-in traffic, rather than link-clicking traffic, that may not be relevant to you, because if that's the case you'll almost certainly lose some traffic at some point to the owner of the non-hyphenated version.
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      • Profile picture of the author jmae SEO
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Hyphens aren't relevant to SEO in any way.

        The issue isn't so much about the hyphen, in my opinion: it's about whether you want to build a business on a domain-name of which the unhyphenated version already belongs to someone else.

        Personally, I like hyphens in domain-names and think they can make word-combinations easier to read. But if you're expecting type-in traffic, rather than link-clicking traffic, that may not be relevant to you, because if that's the case you'll almost certainly lose some traffic at some point to the owner of the non-hyphenated version.

        Branding is definitely going to be the main thing to keep in mind - especially when someone else already has the non-hyphenated domain name.
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      • Profile picture of the author jeff123
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Hyphens aren't relevant to SEO in any way.

        The issue isn't so much about the hyphen, in my opinion: it's about whether you want to build a business on a domain-name of which the unhyphenated version already belongs to someone else.

        Personally, I like hyphens in domain-names and think they can make word-combinations easier to read. But if you're expecting type-in traffic, rather than link-clicking traffic, that may not be relevant to you, because if that's the case you'll almost certainly lose some traffic at some point to the owner of the non-hyphenated version.
        Just want to say, this is a really really good point. Good job Alexa!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Avoid it. This strategy is done.

    Build a brand.
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    BS free SEO services, training and advice - SEO Point

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    • Profile picture of the author warriorkay
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      Avoid it. This strategy is done.

      Build a brand.
      And have this mindset, to succeed with this brand:

      "Take up one idea. Make that idea your life.
      Think of it... Dream of it... Live on that idea.
      Let the brain, muscle, nerves, every part of
      your body, be full of that idea, and just leave
      every other idea alone. This is the way to
      success."
      Swami Vivekananda


      Kingsley
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse L
    Originally Posted by Aika7 View Post

    I want to register a domain name with hyphen between words, something like: domain-name.com. This 2 word keyword gets around 50k Broad Global Monthly Searches and 6k Exact searches. How will the hyphen effect the ranking of my site? (the original domainname.com is taken but it appears to be down since I get "problem loading the page" if I try to visit it.)
    I wouldn't worry about the keywords in the domain. I believe those days are fading fast. Get something short and sweet and memorable and doesn't look goofy on a business card.

    JL
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    The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. – Vince Lambardi

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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Huard
    Both types worked well for me. Just depends what you want to do with these domains on a long term basis.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ferb Hinlor
    I woundn't recommend Domain Names with hyphens on it. But I believe that the more you work on it, the better it's going to be. Like Digital-Photography-school by Darren Rowse is really good nowadays.

    I got some domain names on sale that I think you'd be interested: iWidgetApp.com, iPhoneBrand.com, AppeAndSamsung.com, SamsungAndApple.com, JpegGrid.com | Please contact me.
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    • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
      I believe it depends on what you plan to do with it. Since a domain is only around $10, I would grab it while it's still available (because it may no longer be there by the time you've determined you can't get the "real thing."

      There's little or no disadvantage when it comes to SEO. There's also little disadvantage when you link to the website. It's a matter of opinion how bad it looks on a business card.

      The disadvantage lies in resale value (see other comment above). But if you plan to keep it and build your business on it, that's not terribly relevant.

      Another disadvantage is that when you TELL someone your domain name, the hyphen can easily be missed. This could happen in conversation or even during a radio interview.

      Still, I have found that hyphenated domains can perform really well...

      Elisabeth
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      • Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

        I believe it depends on what you plan to do with it. Since a domain is only around $10, I would grab it while it's still available (because it may no longer be there by the time you've determined you can't get the "real thing."

        There's little or no disadvantage when it comes to SEO. There's also little disadvantage when you link to the website. It's a matter of opinion how bad it looks on a business card.

        The disadvantage lies in resale value (see other comment above). But if you plan to keep it and build your business on it, that's not terribly relevant.

        Another disadvantage is that when you TELL someone your domain name, the hyphen can easily be missed. This could happen in conversation or even during a radio interview.

        Still, I have found that hyphenated domains can perform really well...

        Elisabeth
        Agreed,

        When it comes to SEO, it is all dependent on promoting your URL, no matter how long or how many hyphens it may have.

        As to verbally conveying your URL to prospect and it has hyphens, this can be an issue, no doubt. I have used hyphens for years, and on any printed material, it is more specific with hyphen between words, and I find this more effective, as in on a business card or any advertisement I use, my business focus stands out more than running words together like many do.

        I guess it al depends on how you promote your business. If I am on phone, I simple say what my domain name is, and then add, put a hyphen between each word. Whenever I say recessionproof (hyphen) business, as example, it throws people for a loop and they make word hyphen as part of the URL. lol I am amazed how many don't even know what a hyphen is. lol I have to say, (dash) many times. lol To each there own, but I like to use hyphens as they are often coming up in search the same as a space between search terms I use in URL names.

        I also use signage advertising, and when using yard signs as example, JOIN-FREE.com stands out more than JOINFREE.com, so again, I guess it all comes down to how you promote your business as primary decision on what URL works best for you. I have done well with using hyphens once I learned a space in search term will often get same results for my hyphenated URL's.

        Success to all,
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    You make the site, site doesn't make you.

    Still do SEO and other forms of marketing to get yourself some traffic to your site. Don't rely on Google for your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Abraham L
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      You make the site, site doesn't make you.

      Still do SEO and other forms of marketing to get yourself some traffic to your site. Don't rely on Google for your business.
      right on!

      Just think about something that has to do with your niche, and promote a lot of stuff on it.

      And make sure you offer value to your audience. I think that's what matters at the end of the day.
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  • Profile picture of the author DotComBum
    Try to avoid a hyphen domain, as people tend to forget it, and also it take longer time to type out the domain name than one without it.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    If you are building a brand, no way. When you start making it a success, you will eventually want the other domain, but they will then have more leverage on you. Make an offer now on it, or find another.
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    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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    • Interesting Subject,

      I have been using hyphen in domains for years, and what I have learned is that it is more important to have main keywords in domain name than the hyphens. I have been on top of organic search results in Google for years, and several of my domains have hyphens which emphasize keywords. And if you search same keywords without hyphen or a space, the results will be different in many cases, so the real question is, how does a person search for your product or service, do they run words together or leave a space in search bar, as in recessionproof business, or recessionproof-business as example. In this case, if someone is searching for a recessionproof business, my hyphenated domain comes up the same number two spot on organic search results, so I have learned a hyphen is the way to go over using recessionproofbusiness. Maybe it is me, but when I search for any term, I use spaces between words, and if a domain name uses hyphen on searched term, it rates the same as a space between words in my research. Of course, there are variables, but overall, hyphen is way to go if you target your keyword phrase for whatever your site is about.

      Success to all,
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  • Profile picture of the author MrDay
    Hyphens in a domain aren't as pretty, and shouldn't be your first choice, but they can get the job done, and still rank quite well.
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    • Originally Posted by MrDay View Post

      Hyphens in a domain aren't as pretty, and shouldn't be your first choice, but they can get the job done, and still rank quite well.
      Interesting,

      Never heard the word pretty to describe a URL before, but I guess that could be true to some depending on how they promote their URL, but for me, it is all about traffic based on organic results in search engines, and a hyphen comes out as if a space is used in search terms, so I wonder, how many people search for freelifebenefits verses free life benefits as example, which is more easy to read? Is freelifebenefits pretty or is it easier to read with hypens like free-life-benefits at quick glance? I guess it comes down to the eye of the beholder. Interesting subject for sure.

      Success to all,
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    I don't think that this will work well for you. I would also avoid it.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimK06
    Personally I have a hyphen in my domain name and it hasn't slowed down traffic or sales quality speaks for itself and if your providing quality in a area of demand the the hyphen will not make a difference
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  • Profile picture of the author Mitchell H
    I would try to avoid it but if your site is very well done people wont mind a hyphen.
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  • Profile picture of the author frankl
    Originally Posted by Aika7 View Post

    I want to register a domain name with hyphen between words, something like: domain-name.com. This 2 word keyword gets around 50k Broad Global Monthly Searches and 6k Exact searches. How will the hyphen effect the ranking of my site? (the original domainname.com is taken but it appears to be down since I get "problem loading the page" if I try to visit it.)
    If your site provides quality content and you build links carefully, you shouldn't have any problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author algreg
    In terms of business and SEO I'm not sure what the hyphen will do but from a consumer standpoint, I really hate the hyphens. I would never remember to type them. So unless the person behind the site always sent me a link, I would never even bother going to the site.

    But maybe that's just me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      As most said: hyphens are not that important, unless you want to brand.

      Let me tell you a story:

      I have a site without hyphens, lets call it XX.com site; and have a community in community.XX.com. A guy created another community with hyphens and promoted it in forums as the XX site, calling mine the XX ning version (the community is a ning site)...

      Funny enough, he is promoting my business. I get registrations all the time from people who were trying to find him and typed the url.

      Sandra
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