Does "-" in domain name makes any difference in SEO for that domain?

13 replies
  • SEO
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Hi,

I'm trying to create an affiliate website and I've chosen a good niche, a keyword phrase with decent traffic & moderate competition BUT the .com domain name is not available.
Viz: if my keyword phrase is ABC then ABC.com is not available. Neither is .net or .info but I'm not bothered about other domains.

Although A-BC.com and AB-C.com and A-B-C.com are available.

What I want to know is : Does it make any difference SEO wise (Ranking, Indexing and Backlinks) to have hyphen "-" in the domain name? If yes then should I go with a domain with hyphen in it?
If not then which of the available domains name should I go with - my personal choice in that case would be A-B-C.com...Comments and suggestions invited.
#difference #domain #makes #seo
  • Profile picture of the author Suzanne Morrison
    Hi,

    I don't think it makes a significant difference. My site HomeBiz-Direct.com has a hyphen and is on page one of Google for some pretty competitive terms such as home business, home business ideas, online business ideas.

    I've never had a domain with more than one hyphen in it, so can't really say for sure, but I have seen lots of sites with two hyphens high up in the results.

    Cheers,
    Suzanne
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  • Profile picture of the author RayW
    I think hyphens are just treated as spaces by Google so no, it doesn't effect SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author HarryPothead
    Thanks Suzanne and Raxr...phew..out of big dilemma
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  • Profile picture of the author wallalbert
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    • Profile picture of the author HarryPothead
      Originally Posted by wallalbert View Post

      Hello,

      Yes domain names matter. However, it does not matter whether you use hyphen (-) or not and it doesn't matter if it ends in .us, .info, .net, .org. So if your first choice is taken, don't be afraid to through hyphens in there or use .info or .us if you're going for search engine rankings. It does make a difference if you are trying to market the domain offline.
      Thanks wallalbert..actually your advice is v good. I intend to find a decent .com if possible. If not able to find..I'll take ur advice and go for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mikeys
    I think you will be fine. Its the sites that have a lot that are bad.

    this-is-a-domain-that-looks-spammy.com
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Mikeys: You're singing my tune!

      Note: Has nothing to do with hyphens being bad. Hyphens are
      needed in a lot of cases.

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Bizboy949
    Down with the hyphens!
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  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    No, it should be fine. The only difference is that people naturally will link to the .COM without a hyphen (depending on the niche).

    I was recently featured in a national magazine because I owned the .COM. While I had a content and was a useful resource, there were alternatives that ranked WELL ahead of me in the search engines and also had months more content than I did.

    I've done ZERO off-site optimization and now rank first, all because people would go to the .com first and never directly type in the .NET/.ORG
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    • Profile picture of the author HarryPothead
      Originally Posted by RevSEO View Post

      No, it should be fine. The only difference is that people naturally will link to the .COM without a hyphen (depending on the niche).

      I was recently featured in a national magazine because I owned the .COM. While I had a content and was a useful resource, there were alternatives that ranked WELL ahead of me in the search engines and also had months more content than I did.

      I've done ZERO off-site optimization and now rank first, all because people would go to the .com first and never directly type in the .NET/.ORG
      BRAVO!! glad to hear about your success. since .com is most preferred domain name, that's why I intend to go ahead with this domain, even if I've to go with couple of "-" in it.
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  • Hyphens act as spaces. Creating links with your targeted keyword will be ideal.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesGw
    My only concern would be direct traffic. If it's only two words, you're better off without the hyphen. Three words or more and you might be better with it (or choosing a shorter domain name.)
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    • Profile picture of the author HarryPothead
      Originally Posted by JamesGw View Post

      My only concern would be direct traffic. If it's only two words, you're better off without the hyphen. Three words or more and you might be better with it (or choosing a shorter domain name.)
      James shorter domain are usually more difficult to optimize. well most of the time i've observed this. that's why i intend to choose a 3 words keyword phrase for a domain name and then go ahead with it. and since it's 3 words, i think even if i find a domain name with a "-", it should be fine. dont you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author HarryPothead
    Thanks for your kind replies Mikeys & Paulgl
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