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What's consensus on dashes in domain names?
skunker




msg:697340
 10:57 pm on Mar 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I want to buy a domain name and the only way I can keep the ".com" extension is by using dashes in the name (e.g. www.domain-name-here.com).

Is that still okay or is it best to NOT use dashes anymore?

Thanks.

 

Webwork




msg:697341
 12:10 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

General consensus is there is no advantage, all other things being equal.

There are 2 schools of thought. The other suggests that a SE is better able to parse the - version.

At the price of domains and hosting give it a try and report back.

activeco




msg:697342
 10:36 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is that still okay or is it best to NOT use dashes anymore?

Why should it be best not to use dashes anymore?
Unless you can register a highly natural type-in name without dashes, those hyphens could only help with regard to search engines.
So, all the things being equal - hyphens bring a small advantage as enabling words recognition by the search engines, especially if you have a phrase consisted of more than two words.
No search engine is able (yet) to recognize more than two words run together.

1milehgh80210




msg:697343
 11:02 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

My take on this is:
hyphenated-name:
Some SE advantage, people will link to you using your keywords (hyphenated name). These domains are easier to get also. Disadvantages are, these names are less 'memorable' & 'brandable'. Domains w/ more than one hyphen can look spammy.

The domain name market tends to value nonhyphenated names more.

eurotrash




msg:697344
 11:36 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I believe GoogleGuy posted in here that he prefers dashes to underscores in URLs. Given that fact, I would think that dashes are fine.

albert




msg:697345
 12:19 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy posted in here that he prefers dashes to underscores in URLs

He did. But that's concerning underscores vs. dashes.

tedster




msg:697346
 1:13 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Those comments were more about file and directory names than domain names - the FULL url, in other words.

eurotrash




msg:697347
 10:20 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Albert & Tedster you are of course right, can't use underscores in domains.

However, I had assumed, possibly wrongly, that skunker was asking about the SEO consequencies of using the hypens in the domain name.

jamsuet




msg:697348
 10:55 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

The downside to dashes is you will get virtually no type-in traffic and there's a higher chance previous visitors will forget the actual URL and go elsewhere (possibly by accident). It'll basically become a SE domain only. So they're worth far, far less.

The benefit I can see is regarding SE rankings, it may help a little and having keywords in the URL would mean a searcher is more inclined to click. For any new marketing site I nearly always go for dashes (2 max).

activeco




msg:697349
 11:25 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

The downside to dashes is you will get virtually no type-in traffic and there's a higher chance previous visitors will forget the actual URL and go elsewhere (possibly by accident). It'll basically become a SE domain only. So they're worth far, far less.

I keep hearing about type-in traffic regarding hyphenated domains and I feel obliged to always react on this.
As I already said, only NATURAL type-ins are affected in this way, e.g. very generic words and trademarks.

For the rest, you hugely depend on bookmarks, links and search engines, where the look of any decent domain does not play any role.
The number of people coming back trying type-in for such domains is extremely small.

Of course, this is about using a domain for its own need, not about (re)selling the domain.

skunker




msg:697350
 4:39 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hey guys,
Thanks for the great feedback. I just found out that the owner of www.thedomainname.com will sell it to me. So, with that said, which one should I go for?

www.the-domain-name.com or www.thedomainname.com?

The total characters in the domain name is 12 (minus the two hyphens if I go that route)

Which one would YOU go for?

activeco




msg:697351
 6:08 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Both.

encyclo




msg:697352
 7:46 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Buy both, obviously, but use the version without the hyphens and redirect the hyphenated version to the non-hyphenated one.

skunker




msg:697353
 8:10 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

How would I go about successfully redirecting the domains without running into any penalties? I am a bit confused now with all of the threads about dupe content, etc.

activeco




msg:697354
 9:46 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

a) in dns management do
either "A" IP address record to point to hosted and working other name, if the other name has its own dedicated IP address;

or use "CNAME" record and point to the other name;

or:

b) put the first, non-used name on the server too and make 301 redirection to the other, working one.

I would first check which, if any of the names has existing links, traffic, type-ins or SE position and make the main one out of it.

albert




msg:697355
 10:01 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

As a hyphenated domain may do more good if somebody links to you using it in anchor i would go for hyphenated as primary domain. Nonhyphenated is mainly for type-in traffic so redirect it using 301.

Albert.

skunker




msg:697356
 10:54 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

albert, you rock man, thanks!

killroy




msg:697357
 1:41 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Personally I had some great success with single hyphen domains like snazzy-words.com were neither word was usefull as a keyword but it was memorable enough that I get SE traffic for searches for "domain-name". So it has pretty good brandability. Also, I don't thinkthat the kleyowrds in links issue is so major. I think so far I've always been able to supply anchor text, or the title of the page was used, never just the domain name. That's jsut some experience I had with it. Oh, and I could "connect" several sites with industry1-verb.com industry2-verb.com and so on, for extra branding.

SN

Firemile




msg:697358
 2:06 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe I've been seen to many crap sites, but I IMO hyphenated names seem to scream scrapper/fraud/bad/made-for-adsense site.

When I look for reviews, I go to Amazon.com, not Best-Place-Too-Buy-Books.com.

When I look for php problems, I go to Webmasterworld.com, not Web-master-forum-4-all.com.

You get the idea...

It's probably just me though...

skunker




msg:697359
 6:38 pm on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Firemile,
That is true, however, I think for the average surfer, they don't care or even think about it.

nativenewyorker




msg:697360
 1:31 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

To put things in perspective regarding the average surfer, my ex used to think that html was an abbreviation for Hotmail. ROTLMAO

skunker




msg:697361
 2:05 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't hope that's why she is now your EX:)

MoneyMan




msg:697362
 2:29 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

html = hotmail. that's funny stuff.

Microsoft has got to love that brand recognition.

Sorry didn't mean to take post off topic. I digress...

MikeCaine




msg:697363
 4:36 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

The one drawback that I've found that a domain name with dashes in it is harder to advertise on radio or even just saying the domain name to someone else

fischermx




msg:697364
 10:25 pm on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Names with dashes looks unprofessional.

Regardless of that, if the undashed version is parked or owned by ultsearch or someone who know it will never be sell, then you'll be fine with the dashed version.

Respecting SE, it really does not represent advantage if the keyword composed are dictionary or well known words, since most search engines will find the words (don't ask me how).

Also, if the nondashed domain is up and have already a site on it, have for sure that many of the people trying to reach your domain will endup in the other site : most people forget the dashes at the first type.

yosemite




msg:697365
 3:41 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had to resort to a dashed domain name on one of my biggest sites. The owners of the non-dashed variations of the domain name have not (with one or two exceptions) done anything (or not much) with their domains. Most of their sites are dead in the water. My domain, on the other hand, gets a healthy amount of traffic. Not necessarily because it's so incredibly fabulous, but a site that actually, you know, has pages on it and actual content usually does better than a site that doesn't exist. ;-)

I don't regret getting the dashed version (not like I had a choice) and it certainly hasn't hurt my site. Of course, I'm actually doing something with my site, while the most of the non-dahsed domains are doing nothing.

nativenewyorker




msg:697366
 3:27 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

In situations where the non-hyphenated .com is not available, what is the consensus on the alternative choice? Would you choose the hyphenated .com or the non-hyphenated .net?

activeco




msg:697367
 3:39 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

If it is for your own use:

If it is not a natural type-in, then it does NOT matter at all.

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