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Domain Names Forum

Hyphenated domain names
Which one is better?

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 5:47 pm on Apr 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Let's say I'm interested in abuying a hyphenated domain name. I found it using Good Keywords. But to my suprise, the word "widget" is listed in two words "wid" and "get" for the most searched entry. When I go to register it, I'm faced with a dilemma. Which do I do to catch the most search engine traffic?

1) Register "widget.com" , or
2) Register "wid-get.com"

If I could use a better word to clarify, think of the word "doghouse" and Good Keywords breaks it down into "dog" and "house" for the first entry.

I appreciate any insight.



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 5:53 pm on Apr 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not sure exactly what you mean, but one thing is clear. Google treats "doghouse" as a single word. Neither "dog" nor "house" will match it.

So if your customers are looking for doghouse use doghouse.com. If they are looking for either or both of dog and house use dog-house.com


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 11:41 pm on Apr 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd go for the hyphenated one when it comes to a domain name if you are not going to build a brand you may as well be descriptive.

Depending on the keywords you're targetting the domain will be no where near enough to secure you a decent position and is actually fairly irrelevant on its own but I always thing that hyphens look better as long as the domain doesn't get too long and look stupid I would say two hyphens is the max you should use unless there is a very good reason.


WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 1:41 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a related question. A company I know has a brand name such as 800-widgets and also a domain with that hyphenated name.

I understand that hyphens render the two words as separate. If I search for well-known sites that begin with 1-800-widgets, I get different results depending on whether I type 1800-widgets, 1-800-widgets, or 1 800 widgets. Since there are thousands of companies with 800 numbers, the SERPs are hit or miss for this company.

My question is whether a hyphenated brand name is therefore a bad idea?


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 1:58 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think that hyphenated brand names are a bad idea in general. The domains are ok and better even than the alloneword versions of things but if you are building a brand -'s are confusing to a lot of people I think.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 2:16 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

you most be careful here a lot of people when linking to a domain name will automatically the drop hyphen for the the url and replace it with a space and search-engines will always see the hyphen as a space.

but how can a search decide whether :

"therapist" is one keyword or two hyphens although they have become associate with some darkside of the internet i like them ;)



10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 7:23 am on Apr 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

Register both the domains... you don't want your competition to get their hands on them once you have a good site (or porn redirects/etc.).

Use a 301 redirect to forward the domain you don't use as your main domain name to avoid a Google duplicate content penalty.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 1137 posted 4:42 pm on May 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

The code "301" is interpreted as "moved permanently". But what if you want traffic to both URLs? Or would Google only accept 1 URL for 1 site?

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