The last word on hyphenated domains is

16 replies
  • SEO
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Please help me with this question:

From a local SEO perspective and in order to achieve the best ranking with everything else being equal is it better to get the best keyword rich yet hyphenated domain?
Or
Is it better to get a non hyphenated domain with the next best available popular keyword rich domain?

Thanks Warriors!
#domains #hyphenated #word
  • Profile picture of the author psresearch
    Originally Posted by Market1 View Post

    Please help me with this question:

    From a local SEO perspective and in order to achieve the best ranking with everything else being equal is it better to get the best keyword rich yet hyphenated domain?
    Or
    Is it better to get a non hyphenated domain with the next best available popular keyword rich domain?

    Thanks Warriors!
    Probably doesn't matter anymore from an SEO perspective as Google can parse keywords out of non-hyphenated domains fine anyhow. Not sure about Yahoo and MSN.

    If you're going for branding, too, you definitely want non-hyphenated.
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  • Profile picture of the author scole954387
    I agree with Mark. From an SEO standpoint, I don't think it makes that much of a difference anymore. However for professionalism and branding no hyphens are the way to go. :-)

    Shannon
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    • Profile picture of the author warriorkevin
      I own LOTs of domains.

      SEO - they are fine, even great.
      sometimes www-shortkeyword.com is available just make sure the site does not use www. in front.

      but the rules are :

      If they are only search engine or clicked in links - no real issues

      if they must be typed by a human or remembered by a human:
      - be careful on misspellings.
      - be careful with singular vs plural
      - be careful with multiple words when one ends and the next begins with the same letter : lettuceeat.com (lettuce eat) the double 'e' can be confusing.
      - be careful with how words sound, especially next to other words.
      JoesExchange can become joeSexchange (or the other way around)

      hope that helps.
      Kevin
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      • Profile picture of the author Jekiko
        Banned
        I don't get this :confused:

        Who decided that hyphen separation is "unprofessional" ?

        Personally I would prefer to see Joes-Exchange.com

        looks OK to me
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        • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
          Originally Posted by Jekiko View Post

          I don't get this :confused:

          Who decided that hyphen separation is "unprofessional" ?

          Personally I would prefer to see Joes-Exchange.com

          looks OK to me
          Know what Jekiko, i've seen some big brands in Portugal lauching hyphened domains even when they have the option not to.

          Maybe a new trend starting?
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          • Profile picture of the author snapper
            If I put my searches cap on - I prefer a hyphenated domain name...I find them much easier to read than an allin domain - even after capitalization.

            From a IM point of view I do PPC and don't see it affecting my CTR.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesMSpacey
    Not exactly on point, but Matt Cutts speaking recently at Worldcamp said that in Google's eyes when using keywords in url paths (example.com/my-keywords) dashes are best, next best is underscores and no spaces is worst. Perhaps relevant for blogs more than mini-sites, but if you're talking SEO then it's worth noting. Straight from Google: What You Need to Know
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    • Profile picture of the author snapper
      This is definately not on topic but James is there a beach in Hobart and it would be a hearty soul to take their shirt of in Hobart.

      Sorry - saw your avatar and don't have a mental image of Hobart and beaches.
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      • Profile picture of the author JamesMSpacey
        Originally Posted by snapper View Post

        This is definately not on topic but James is there a beach in Hobart and it would be a hearty soul to take their shirt of in Hobart.

        Sorry - saw your avatar and don't have a mental image of Hobart and beaches.
        @Snapper - Yeah, Hobart ain't much of a beach going place, but I've only been here for a few cold years. I used to live in Queensland and enjoy the sun a lot more than I do now.

        Back to the thread - I am tending to agree with the concept of the domain needing to reflect the kind of online activity you do. My main money is Adsense from organic SEM, so I've got a few long domain names and I never hyphenate them. Also, I'll never have to worry about them being read on the radio because I choose my domains to get Google's attention only. I do agree though that unless a visitor is likely to have to enter the name into their address bar that hyphen or no hyphen makes no difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndyBlackSEO
    hyphenated domains are much easier to read and may probably get more click throughs. If you have a two word domain and the last letter of the first word doesn'y clash with the first letter of the second word then that's fine. But any more than two words, I'd much prefer hyphenated.
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  • Profile picture of the author warriorkevin
    Any time the user has to CLICK the domain, hyphens are great.

    But like .com vs .net I find that users often don't remember the hyphens (or the .net)

    And if you are using keywords in a url string (versus a domain name) hyphens seem to do better with seo.
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  • Profile picture of the author edgray
    for domains I always recommend the "radio test": can the domain name be advertised on the radio easily? For example:

    weight loss guides dot com is easier to say and remember than
    weight hypen loss hyphen guides dot com

    From an SEO standpoint, remember that domain names are only a tiny factor in what Google looks at to decide SERPs. From my experience, domain age is far more important.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    Andy Black mentioned this. I went to register a domain name for a new product I was working on. The product name is two words. The first word ends in "t" and the second word starts in "r". I noticed when entering the domain name that running the words together in my domain name it looked like sh*t, so I opted for using a hyphen which looks great now.

    I'd always go with hyphens rather than underscores in URLs as well. If you do a search for dog training, dog-training, and dog_training you can clearly see that Google considers the first two as being almost identical, while dog_training is viewed as one single word.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blackmediaprop08
    Never really noticed much difference honestly..but the non-hyphenated versions seem to outrank the hyphenated domain
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Adams
    The ONLY advantage to having your keywords hyphenated in your domain is if people link to you directly by your domain your keywords will be in the anchor text.
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    • Profile picture of the author kameleon
      I would rather choose domain name with hyphens.
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