by arttse
21 replies
If I wish to include key words in my domain name and I wish to rely on my domain name to rank higher in search engines, am I better off using hyphens to split the key words in my domain name?

In other words If I dont use hyphens would I rank equally (assuming this is the only SEO work I do).

Thanks in advance.
#domain #names
  • Profile picture of the author Igor Kheifets
    Hey arttse,

    I think it is better if you have more than one
    keyword to split with hyphen.

    Because that way it is easier for the search engines to
    see the phrase.

    I have actually tested this with 2 different domain names
    and hyphen is important when you have multiple keywords.

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  • Profile picture of the author mitch123
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    • Profile picture of the author arttse
      Thanks for the replies so far.

      I believe that hyphens are great if you want to get a better SE ranking but would be a dissadvantage if you are trying to brand your website for offline purposes.
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  • Profile picture of the author virginiad
    Also, sometimes you can get a better name if you hyphenate, because the nonhyphenated one is already taken

    Virginia Drew

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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    From what I've seen using or not using hyphens will not be the critical factor in ranking. hyphens do make it easier for people to read URLs often, but Google can interpret the individual words regardless.
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  • Profile picture of the author CashTactics
    Don't listen to anyone telling you to split the domain name with a hyphen. The best thing you can do is get a hyphen free domain name and a .com would be best if you want US rankings.

    NO HYPHENS! If you can't get the exact keywords that you want there are filler words you can use like the, best, great, source, research, etc.

    Be creative and you can think of a domain that won't include hyphens.
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  • Profile picture of the author Saint117
    I wish I would of read this before creating my domain, I used hyphens because I totally thought the same thing. oh well. Thahnks for the tidbit. better late then never.
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  • Profile picture of the author virginiad
    Cashtactics...why do you say not to use hyphens? I've heard that before, but don't know why.

    Virginia Drew

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    • Profile picture of the author CashTactics
      People don't remember hyphens. They remember the domain name as "Domain name dot come" not "Domain hyphen name dot com" Lets do an example.

      Your competitor owns "" and you own "" When most people search they will most likely type in in the url bar. Not

      Windows users can type in the window a keyword and it will either take them to a website or to a search. If they type in "red shoes" it will automatically take them to "" and not ""

      The hyphen is difficult for most users to remember. I promise. As an SEO consultant for several years... Don't get the hyphen. I hope this wasn't confusing...
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  • Profile picture of the author lawed
    I registered as everyone was saying to brand myself.

    I now read everywhere to use keyowords in a domain name, and in blogpost titles, posts, pages and the blogname even.

    So, what became of the importance of branding myself and securing the domain name?

    My question is where and when do i use the if I am going to brand myself? and use the keyword rich posts, titles, mega data etc. all at the same time?

    Thanks in advance for any clarity that can be provided

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    • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
      This is my thought on hyphenated domains. You are going to lose traffic if there is an existing domain being used (not those junk parked pages, but real content), with the exact same kewyords as yours. Most users are not used to typing in hyphens and may even use google to find the domain name. You are much better off in the long run picking out a unique non hyphenated domain that can't be confused with another domain.

      If you must hyphenate, use a maximum of 1 hyphen. Those are easy to remember... but multiple dashed domains are not.

      On the flip side... hyphenated domains can be useful as redirected CPA offers or something along those lines in an article on an article directory. Then you don't have to worry about people remembering the domain name.

      Hope that helps.

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  • Profile picture of the author arttse
    You answered all my concerns. Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author arttse
      Would anyone have an opinion whether a dot com domain with a hyphon would rank better than a dot org/net.

      eg. vs or
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      • Profile picture of the author jayveen
        I asked a similar question a couple months ago, and if I remember right people said to use hyphens with a .com rather than nohyphens with .net/.org. I'm still not convinced thought, because I in fact bought a .org and it started ranking google number 2 right away with just Amazon affiliate posts. I also have a hyphenated .com that is not ranking well at all. Thats just two examples and they may not mean much, but it looks like google likes nonhyphenated better.
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  • Profile picture of the author CliveG
    If you hope to spread your domain name by word of mouth go for the non-hypenated version. No one remembers the hypens and not only do you miss out on traffic your credibility suffers.
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    • Profile picture of the author madmoneymaniac
      @Francois du_Toit: I pretty much agree with everything you outlined in your article. Personally, I only use hyphens for domain names containing a long tail keyword. For keywords consisting of two words only (e.g. "acne scars"), I usually stick to adding one of the following words to the end, if the ideal domain name (e.g. "") is already taken:


      ..and similar words. So for the example I mentioned before, I'd just look for, or anything like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    As far as search engines go, I doubt that it makes a difference, although I do see fewer hypenated domain names on the front page than I do see those with hypens. I personally don't ever buy a hyphenated domain name, particularly if I might sell the site later. People who buy domains for investment rarely ever buy hypenated names. They aren't good for type in traffic either.
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  • Profile picture of the author bobsstuff
    One thing to do with domain names is to see what they could spell.

    The one that sticks in my mind would be a nostagia site name Who Remembers.
    Site name would be

    NOW, if you look at the website name is that a nostagia site or is it an XXX membership site?

    I have seen a few sites that had names that could be read different ways. Would a dash clear these up? How about buying both and redirect to the other.
    Bob Hale
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