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Hyphenated domain names
Has anyone got the answer

 9:42 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hello, at the last (September) update, a client's site dropped off the edge of the world, not in the first 1000 results despite being in Google for 18 months and doing quite well. The speculation was that is was something to do with the hyphenated domain name (their-primary-keyphrase-here.com), we decided to leave well alone and see if it came back in October's update. Well it hasn't, so I'm hoping some of you more experienced people can offer the latest thinking on this issue. Thank you.



 10:04 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Shouldn't think it's anything to do with that. I have several hyphenated domains that do very well.

What PR does this site have? Is it possbible it was penalized?



 10:05 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Curtains
what makes you think hyphenated domain names have anything to do with losing ranking?

It's debatable if keywords in domains give a ranking boost, but one thing is for sure: there are tons of those flying high in Google serps.


 10:40 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi, the site has PR4 and Google shows 14 inbound links. How can we tell if the site's been penalised?


 10:53 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

With PR4 the site is not penalised!


 11:00 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe we over-optimized the site eg keyword density too high.


 11:02 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Pretty hard to over-optimixe unless a competitor reports you and google hand check the site. There are lot's of legitimate reasons for very high KW density.

What was the PR 2mts ago, have you gone down a notch?

Have a look at the link text linking to the higher sites nad your own inbound link text...



 11:07 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Funny thing regarding domain names with keywords.. Our #1 competetor has a PR5 - we have a PR6... His first "loader" page is a FLash! intro - ours is an HTML page rich with content and keywords..

Guess What --- The search phrase, that he has in his domains ALWAYS puts his site 1 or 2 above ours.... I dont think this is fair being that we have a lot more page rank and CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT!


 11:07 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Curtains
Did the site disappear completely - for all keywords - or just for your primary keywords? (I can't believe you searched 1000 results for more than a couple of keywords!?)

A lot of people saw their long-standing sites 'disappear' for their 'primary' keywords last month, but still retained traffic because they still ranked for many other terms. There is speculation that the disappeared listings are somehow related to Google AdWords. Do you still rank for minor keywords?


 11:09 am on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Jady - the point about the keyword-in-domains is that these words are often the anchor text used in in-bound links, and with links playing such an important role for Google, that's where the boost comes from.


 12:11 pm on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks everybody for your help - this is way cool :-)

Nick - PR and inbound links have not moved for atleast 3 months - we are not actually working on the site at present but the client asked us to report.

"Have a look at the link text linking to the higher sites and your own inbound link text... "? Most of the inbound links are from the primary keyphrase text.

Quiet_man - the site does not show for the primary keyphrase or other keyphrases - it doesn't even score highly when you type in the name of the company. BTW I check 100 results per page and use IE "Find" to look for the domain name.


 12:13 pm on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

curtains - you mentioned that your keyword densitiy might be too high. In my own experience a too high keyword density can deteriorate your rankings, but not kick you out. Looking at my own results for this last update, I had a few pages that fell in ranking and all these pages had a high keyword density in common.

I once got a good tip on this forum: keyword density 8-12% is fine. I can confirm this value.


 2:27 pm on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

There have been a couple of long threads on this topic in the last couple of months. The conclusion (definitely not unanimous) seemed to be that hyphenated keyword domains were ranking well because of link text. If your domain is keyword1-keyword2.com and you get a an inbound link with no other link text then you are still getting good keyword rich link text solely by the nature of your url. The September index seemed to change lots of this - on my serps the keyword domains slipped - my guess is that google adjusted the link text part of the algo to count only link text other than that inside the url. That makes it more fair and its just my guess...


 2:48 pm on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

wingslevel - thank you for your reply, can you remember anything unique about the threads you mention so I can find them in a forum search? Also the text links that are the inbound links are the primary keyphrase not the domain name.


 2:48 pm on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

There is some more good things with hyphened url's with kw,s in than se's.

The description you get from Odp, LS, Y!

If you got the words in url and the first header and the title, there is a big chance that you have that description you want in the directories. And then you got the right linktext from the big cats with the high PR.

But yes the keyword rich url will give som boost.

For a couple of mounth ago there was a site with kw1-kw2.com and in the title there stood "Test" and in the body it stood "Test", the funny thing was that the site was in the 6 place in the searchterm kw1 kw2

So kw in the url is a good thing.



 7:29 pm on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your help.


 7:45 pm on Nov 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

wingslevel: my guess is that google adjusted the link text part of the algo to count only link text other than that inside the url...
That makes no sense for me. I don't see such a part of the algo.

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