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Dash or Non Dash in a 2 Word Domain?
trying to figure out the best solution for SERPS, not humans

 7:10 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hola I'm setting up a few new domains to broaden my base a bit- and for most keyword combos I have no choice but to do a dash, since the other ones are taken-- but there are a couple where www.keyword1keyword2.net and .org are still available. Is anybody out there pretty sure that www.keyword1-keyword2.net would be a better buy? I'm not really concerned w/ repeating the URL over the phone to customers, etc-- my main URL is my company one-- these additional sites are going to be targeted to sell certain products, and are mainly for the SE's.




 7:28 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Stace, you happy american girl you... ;)

Go for the dash! Might not alway be so, but for now it's a good bet...



 7:31 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes domain name with dash is definately better then keywordkeyword1,net.
In fact you can register both domains and use url forwarding service from your registrar or ISP to point domain without dash to domain with dash, that way it will be easy for customers too.

I had great results with keyword rich domains that too with dash.

Hope this helps :)


 9:51 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is it not a bad thing to have "clone" sites running, for the SEO point of view?


 9:58 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys! I went ahead and did the dash for several URLs- quite excited about building these new sites. No don't plan on doing anything clonish- will go out of my way in fact to make sure that each new site (probably between 10 and 15 pages per) has unique graphics and text that is different from the others. Since each focuses on a different product (music, videos, software)- I think I should be OK. I'm even going to create separate accounts on my e-commerce server so I don't run into any trouble by having duplicate e-commerce links.

best to all


 10:12 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Stace,

If you'll be linking them at all, do a site search for hub and spokes for some good tips.


 10:43 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks Marcia-- I think I have my work cut out for me- I bought a total of 8 domains, and now I'm gonna have to figure out hosting, content, then configuring things like my Amazon links (unsafe to have all these new urls link to my current affiliate acct?) and how to best link these sites to my current main site, which will not be linking back to them.

I figured I could create an affiliate entry in Mal's E-commerce for each of the new sites-- and then run banners for my current site- I wouldn't think Google would pick that up, as I've got over 20 sites closely related to mine who are current affiliates.

In theory this should all help boost my business quite a bit but I think I have a verrrryy long week ahead of me!



 10:49 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

There are a couple of things to consider with this. First, .net isn't as easily brandable or memorable as .com. Forget .net, go with .com.

But they are all taken? keyword1keyword2.com is all gone? So is keyword1-keyword2.com? No problem! Just stick something memorable on the front or back end of the URL, such as: keyword1keyword2USA.com.

If you want the little boost that can come from keywords in the URL, do bear in mind that search engines and directories do not parse out words from one long string of characters.

For instance: Nobody is going to try to locate "car" in a string like this: joebarbercarsuperstore.com in response to a search query (it's a fake url, mods.)

But if you do want the SEs and directories to locate the keyword buried inside a string, you need to delimit the words, like this: joe-barber-car-superstore.com. And you're better off if the keyword(s) appears toward the front of that string rather than elsewhere.

Good luck and happy haunting. ;)


 11:42 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

But they are all taken? keyword1keyword2.com is all gone? So is keyword1-keyword2.com?

...and if those are taken keyword1--keyword2.commight also be an alternative. (double dash)


 11:51 pm on Oct 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Not suitable for all situations, but I did a 01-keyword1-keyword2.com lately. Some local directories still use alphabetical order...


 3:30 am on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok what I settled on was a combination.


While I'm a little wary of picking up a .bz domain, the .bz I acquired is the single best keyword in my field (also the only one available, if that tells you anything), outranking other keywords around 10 to 1. Even though it's more general, it can bring in fantastic traffic, and my Adwords traffic for this keyword is about 20 times that of any other combination of keywords.

One thing that is important is that my only consideration here are the SEs and the SERPS- not humans remembering what a great site "www.keyword1.com" is. I already have a .com URL that is my main site, and don't plan on reproducing anything near the amount of work my main site has been. These are just traffic drivers- with content and products specific to their key phrases, as well as banners to my main site- which is related to all of these keywords. Plus the e-commerce buttons, of course!


 6:18 am on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sound like you have a pretty good plan stace.

Two other consideration, for which I have had good success with...

Consider some new (or existing) pages in your main site that have "unique" content on them but relevant to some or all of the other sites.

Each of these secondary sites can very effectively link to this uniqueness and provide deep-linking inbound links that do 3 things:

1. Develop PR deep in your internal link structure which can transfer this PR up your primary site's link hierarachy, and back to the mainpage.

2. Provide seed pages of varying topics for others to link to. (note: Why do many non-profits sites (unique/niche portals, community sites, education sites, etc.) receive lots of links when they don't solicitic them? and

3. You will have many more strategic points to pass PageRank on to others through banners and reciprocal link exchanges allowing your mainpage to remain uncluttered.

Every single page of the secondary sites should have an ownership link back to the main page of your main site. Although there may indeed be a PR value here, the greater value is one of integrity to visitors. Keyword domains inherently are not great for branding but the ownership link -- shows a "real" business behind this web-based enterprise and in addition, provides something easier to remember than a hyphenated domain.

Your strategy plan of multiple domains and the way you link must be thorough thought out. Cross-linking isn't bad but "excessive" cross linking is. Define certain sections of your main site to link out to individual secondary sites (mainpage) and other (main site) sections to do the same for different secondary sites. Note: On considering PR transfers, 4 diferent pages linking to 1 site each -- is worth more than all 4 pages each linking to 4 sites.


 2:26 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ah so some cross linking is ok? I was just thinking that there's no way Google will even pick up these new domains if I don't add some links from my current site-- Google hates sites that are islands.

I was thinking of adding some small links from my homepage to these sites-- but for now not linking back-- except maybe w/ the affiliate banners- I just don't want to jeopeordize my main site's PR as it's PR 7 and brings in around 2000 visitors a day (ie w/out this traffic my business takes a huge hit!)


 7:25 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Cross-link for ownership (As I stated before)...

...and to unique content that supports two or more sites.

this is much better than duplicating content on other sites.

Each site will have it's own theme, but much like Brett's theming example... each individual site shares some commonality with the others, particularly with your primary web site.

In theory... by using multiple domains one goal of this segregated arrangement might be to target specific "niches" within a niche".

A person looking to buy "widgets" and a person looking to have someone "manufactory their widgets" are two completely different topics that also share some commonality.

Two individual sites can focus more on the specific market concerns of each, while at the same time content from one site can support the other.

A demo widget at the "buy" site (used to entice buying) can also be a portfolio addition in the other site -- showing the quality of your end products.

In the long term, your primary site can become an authority on "all things widgets", attracting very broad markets into your infrastructure (and if they are here, they are not somewhere else) and this drives visitors to the secondary sites, that cater and segregated markets by specific needs.

I just don't want to jeopeordize my main site's PR as it's PR 7

If you link only to accommodate the "visitor" you will never go wrong in Google.


 8:00 pm on Oct 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Ah so some cross linking is ok?

stace, there's no way to know exactly where to draw the line with what's considered excessive except by trial and error, which is too risky and can change over time.

People with travel sites for multiple locations run into the same situation with interlinking between site sections or pages that are highly relevant with each other for specific topics but location specific. We have a member who learned a lesson with just such sites the hard way.

We also had a thread recently in which someone considered some excellently done satellite sites for individual products to be spam because they all belong to the same company with a large main site that also carries the procucts.

It was a long discussion, but the critical lesson to be learned is that once sites do well, they'll come under added scrutiny, even to the point of being reported to search engines as spam by competitors or curious onlookers who want to see the results to know if they can get away with doing the same thing.

My opinion is that less is always better. A successful PR7 site that's in it for the long haul is too valuable to jeopardize in any way. Staying on the highly conservative side of everything is what some of us consider the safest route.

Of course opinions will vary, so we have to weigh all things carefully, and as much time as it takes, read through this forum thoroughly to get the most thorough perspective possible. One of the reasons I personally pay particular attention to ciml's posts is that in spite of how clever and knowledgeable he is, he seems to avoid coming on authoritatively, but rather seems to qualify statements he makes by declaring that it respresents his experience and opinion, suggesting that things can change, and advising that people make their own decisions.

Find ciml's remarks on hub and spokes relationships and linking with sites. Then dig in and read some more. It's well worth the time in the long run in order to avoid jeopardizing a successful PR7 site.

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