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Domain Names Forum

Creating the perfect domain name

 2:43 pm on Aug 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

Let's say I want to create a site that will target the keyword phrase of "music list"

I know that developing a domain name that incorporates keywords is important, so I wanted to see if this would work:

If I created the domain name of www.music-lister.com, do you think the search engines would pick up the two words of music and list? (I know it will pick up the word "music")

Although the word "lister" is not a true word, does that create a visual picture of what the site would entail?

I look forward to your reply.



 9:39 pm on Aug 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

Any help, anyone? :)

I guess what I am getting at is this: will search engines use stemming to recognize the word "lister" as "list"


 10:00 pm on Aug 4, 2000 (gmt 0)

It really depends on what stemming algorithm is being used. My very basic understanding of stemming is that the word has to be recognized in the stemmer's dictionary and then from there suffixes and prefixes are stripped and replaced etc...

Here [ils.unc.edu] is a stemmer that somebody built. It will give you an idea of how it all works.

My guess is that 'lister' will stem to list simply due to the number of products and such that use it in their name. Do a search for lister on AV and you will see what I mean.


 6:23 am on Aug 9, 2000 (gmt 0)

THAT is the program/tool I've been trying to find again (many thanks).

It generally doesn't work that way Bradley. Most of the se's are not giving a great deal of weight to domain names, and most won't stem the domain name to find a root kw.

[marker Brett_Tabke]


 1:44 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'd like to continue with this discussion. What domain name would you select and why? (this is just a hypothetical situation)

allsearchengines . com
all-search-engines . com
allengines . com

How much value is there in having keywords in your domain name? How much weight is given to them? Which domain name would you choose? I really look forward to some expert advice, because I've narrowed my choice down to names like this.


 7:19 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

>allsearchengines . com
>all-search-engines . com

I'd register both, make the hyphenated one a "splash" domain and promote/submit the one without hyphens. This is mostly from a marketing perspective, you don't want to be saying "all hyphen search hyphen engines dot com" on the phone (trust me on that one, it's a major pain). RE ranking, I do well with some sites that have hyphens, but I don't see it as any sort of advantage in the algos. I DO have strong anecdotal evidence that having the keyword in the path carries positive weight with the algos, as in "allsearchengines.com/yourkeyword"


 8:35 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

>>allsearchengines . com
>>all-search-engines . com

>I'd register both, make the hyphenated one a "splash" domain and promote/submit the one without hyphens.

RC, why do you suggest making the hyphenated domain "splash" only, rather than using it for ALL search engine submissions, and then using the non-hyphenated domain for all other (that is, non-SE) purposes? I would think that having the keywords already parsed would help with ranking, at least a little bit.

BTW, I also can offer anecdotal support for the "keyword in pathname" method, especially when it's the name of a subdirectory and the ranking page is the index. Still, I can't get up the nerve to really test this myself, since I'm not willing to play with what is already working.

I also assume that most people who plan hard enough about SEO to put keywords in the pathname probably have lots of other optimization going on, so it's not easy to rigorously isolate the effect of this one factor.


 8:41 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

You don't like the "allengines.com" domain name? I would have thought that this would have been catchy and easy for people to remember? What are your reasons for not choosing this domain name?

RC, you say "RE ranking, I do well with some sites that have hyphens, but I don't see it as any sort of advantage in the algos" - so why not use allengines.com which is the short URL address of the three? I look forward to your reply. I'm just trying to play devils advocate here. Thanks


 8:51 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

A) In my heart of hearts, I still give weight to kw's in domains --can't kick the habit.

B) In marketing the domain, the people are going to associate the word 'search' with the domain name whether it's there or not. Two or three days later, they are going to dredge it up from their memory as 'all search engines' and enter it that way. Again, just a hunch, but I have seen it happen more than a few times.

C) When surfing the return pages that provide urls, 'allengines' could be an engine shop in Newark.


 10:30 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

>RC, why do you suggest making the hyphenated domain "splash" only, rather than using it for ALL search engine submissions,

Sorry Tedster, I missed your post.

This comes from watching and quizzing users as they ran AV through its paces. I've found that one of the ways they decide to actually select a return is by reading the url to see if it looks -for lack of a better term- authoritative. Tildes and hyphens are negatives in this highly crucial area. How crucial? When I asked "How did you go about selecting that particular one?" my 'guinea pigs' almost universally gave a variation of
I read the title, checked the url, and quickly scanned the first few words of the description.
When questioned a little further, most admit to having a very short attention span when it comes to actually reading the description, but these same ones were consciously stopping and taking time and effort to decode the url. As long as the were not absolute newbies (no one is an absolute newbie anymore, even if they've never been on the web before --so pervasive is this in our culture) it didn't seem to matter if they were heavy surfers or not, a clean url was perceived as the better one to try first.


 10:51 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

>...a clean url was perceived as the better one to try first.

Makes sense to me. I think I react that way, and I "ought to know better."

One of my clients owns two domain names -- a single hyphen version and a run-on version. Our intital strategy was to submit only the hyphenated version and always use the run-on for all other purposes. To avoid getting nailed for duplicate content, we've been very attentive to link exchanges, banner ads (only using the hyphenated version) and any other way we could think of that the SEs might pick up duplicate names.

In the first two months, 80% to 90% of the traffic came to the hyphenated site. Third month 60% -- and somehow the SEs began to pick up the run-on domain name anyway.

Now in the fourth month, the run-on domain gets the bulk of all traffic, and about half of the SE traffic, even though I've never submitted it. I'm sure there are many more high ranking pages with the hyphenated version of the name, but the clicks seem to come easier from the run-on domain name.

So, I think you're right. And I'll be darned if I know how the run-on version of the domain name got into the SE databases, but it looks like it's a good thing it did.


 11:03 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

Off topic, but while we're chasing this down, the flip side of this is that descriptions are a DISTANT third reference point in this process. Google's bizarrely garbled renderings are proving that daily.

Back ON topic, I think this url decoding is why 3rd-level domains are successful in drawing the click --perceived as highly authoritative.


 11:25 pm on Aug 16, 2000 (gmt 0)

>>highly authoritative<<

It's funny you say that. I have no idea why I share that view and I didn't even articulate that in my own mind until you mentioned it. I don't use them at this stage -- hands have been too full to start to work with it and its implications. Worth its own thread?


 7:36 pm on Dec 17, 2000 (gmt 0)

Bump. Been looking for this thread on several other occassions re:
Drawing the click on the SERP.


 5:09 pm on Dec 23, 2000 (gmt 0)


Oilman, thanks for the "stemmer" URL, I needed something like that.

rcjordan, I am still hung up on the dash names compared to the run-on URL's. If what I am hearing correctly is that two URL's being submitted one a dash name and the other a run-on name, the run-on will fair better!

I like the dash names, mainly because my human eyes can read them easier. But I also know these spiders are getting more sophisticated every day. Most of my clients balk at buying multiple domain names anyway, but now adding another is going to make it look like I a padding the "bill". You know, "dreaming up" more ways to charge the customers.

Thanks. Happy Holidays.


 7:42 pm on Jan 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

One thing I have learned about domain names is to keep them short.

I cannot tell you how many times I have sen domain names that are over 20 characters long and are MONSTERS for people to type in the browser. Some mail client programs may not even recognize mail coming from very long domains, (it may cut off a few of the characters).

When registering, try to trim the number of characters down as much as possible....


 8:10 pm on Jan 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

The Porter Stemming Algorithm is widely cited and well worth a look:



 3:04 pm on Jan 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

I am not an 'expert' and this is my personal opinion, but I have observed that the web is about people and not algos. People do not read only scan, therefore you would need to make it easy for them to scan and 'reconize' the words. So running words together is great if you're looking for branding, but not so great if you're looking for usability. What I personally do is go for the hypenated words becase they are easy to scan. The next thing I would do is buy the shortened version from Realnames, if they let you.
Since I am a new user to this forum, I would like to add, I think it's the best one I seen yet. The folks are nicer to each other and don't personally attack the writers for stating their opinion.


 3:22 pm on Jan 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

>don't personally attack the writers for stating their opinion.

Anyone that does, we hang on Fridays. Welcome to WmW, willtell.


 4:01 am on Jan 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

My understanding is, that a "run on" domain is treated like a "Real Name" by search engines, while a hyphenated domain will have better preference on keyword searches.

Disclaimer: All other things being equal, your mileage may vary.


 2:48 am on Jan 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Can anyone direct me to a tutorial on setting up 3rd level domains?



 3:12 am on Jan 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

OK, am I getting this straight? A "third-level" domain would also be known as a "subdomain" as in: subdomain.domain.com

If so, I wonder why those would be seen as more authoritative, since a good number of free webhosts now offer subdomains to their users...


 4:25 am on Jan 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

A 3rd level domain is usually more authoritative because it is a dedicated domain name. Usually 3rd level domains are keyword authoritative by their nature. The value of 3rd level domains would be negated by the number of pages on free hosts.

A tutorial on 3rd level domains? You mean from a server setup standpoint or keyword standpoint? Server, would be with your webhost or your server manual. I've not seen any tutorials on the keyword value of 3rd level domains.

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