homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.205.205.47
register, free tools, login, search, subscribe, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Accredited PayPal World Seller

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

    
Domain name selection optimized for Google
To Dash or Not to Dash?
tommyleebyron




msg:723666
 11:12 am on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

In terms of Google optimization what is best?

www.ironwidegets.com

or

www. iron-widgets.com?

thanks for the help!

 

joeking




msg:723667
 2:07 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

In my experience it makes no difference whatsoever.

Lord Majestic




msg:723668
 2:45 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

In my experience it makes no difference whatsoever.

Are you suggesting either of the following:

1) Google can split "bluewidget" into separate words "blue and widget" so that if someone searches for "blue widget" they will have a match (ranking is secondary issue)?

2) Ranking of domain matches is so low these days that it does not matter if there is a match in the first place?

joeking




msg:723669
 3:07 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Both 1 and 2 are true in my experience.

httpwebwitch




msg:723670
 3:24 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

OK, then how do you split the word "potshard.com" Is it pots-hard or pot-shard? Google might be able to figure it out using site content in context, but then why would they bother?

In practice I prefer to hyphenatize things like file names and linked images. Does it make a difference? I have no proof, only suspicions and advice from other WMs.

my-image-name.gif
your-iframe-source.htm

With domain names I prefer no hyphens, because then I have to explain how it's spelled. How often have you said "the-dash-big-dash-happy-dash-web-dash-site-dot-com"?

joeking




msg:723671
 3:34 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

To ask how Google splits the words is irrelevant. The fact is that if you search for blue widget, both bluewidget.com and blue-widget.com will be seen as Google as relevant (how relevant depends on many other factors too).

It's easy to prove. Search Google for big money term and I find following:

1. widgets.com
2. word-widgets.com
3. wordwidget.com
4. word.com
5. wordword.com
6. madeupword.com
7. wordword.com
8. widgetsword.com
9. wordwidgets.com
10. wordword.com

This from 37,900,000 results for popular search word (it's the plural of where you might stay on vacation or while away on business if you're interested).

Lord Majestic




msg:723672
 3:46 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

both bluewidget.com and blue-widget.com will be seen as Google as relevant (how relevant depends on many other factors too).

Yes but those bluewidget.com's can appear not because there was a match in domain name (I got an impression that Google goes for exact match), but some naturally occuring "blue widget" keywords for both domains.

The question is therefore: if Google can't match those words in domains name, would that lose some brownie points that could have improved rankings?

siteseo




msg:723673
 4:05 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

In the past dashes "helped" Google find the individual words in your domain name. It *can* still help, but if you are at ALL interested in branding I would veer away from dashes. I can tell you from experiece that domains with three or more dashes in them can easily get tossed into the supplemental index. A spokeswoman from G stated publicly that anything with more than 2 dashes is considered "spammy." Now that doesn't mean you can't make it fly - especially if you get lots of great IBL's - but I would probably recommend either zero dashes or only one.

Same with file names. Underscores help readers see the words in the file name, but a crawler merely concatenates the separated words.

That said, I tend to use a dash in my domain names, as I'm primarily interested in SEO, not branding.

As long as you're focusing more on gaining quality links and developing quality content, you can really go either way.

Lord Majestic




msg:723674
 4:23 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

but if you are at ALL interested in branding

What about one dash, ie: mybrand-someword.com?

caveman




msg:723675
 4:54 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Guys, G can identify kw's in the domain (just look at the SERP's and the URI's), but this sort of display is different from what goes into the algo calc and to my knowledge they do not factor the presense of a kw in domain into their rankings.

Think about it. There are way too many high quality entities - commercial and non-commercial - that do not include their most important kw's in their name (and domain name). Counting the presence of a kw in a domain would be essentially penalizing all those who don't have kw-in-domain, which would artificially skew the SERP's to sites that use kw's in domain (as an SEO tactic) ... and that's exactly what they don't want.

Matt Probert




msg:723676
 5:28 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

It DOES make a difference. We run one site, with two domain names.

One has a hyphen between the two words that comprise our site name, the other all one word - these being our product, so to speak.

The hyphenated domain always comes out of Google before the other when searching for the product by name.

For example (I have changed the names to examples for illustation only)

oak-tree.com and oaktree.com

Matt

caveman




msg:723677
 6:08 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Nah. :-)

steveb




msg:723678
 7:14 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

It makes a big difference with Google, and an enormous difference with Yahoo and MSN.

Use oak-tree.com, point oaktree.com at it.

siteseo




msg:723679
 7:46 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yah, you'll definitely want to 301 one of those domains to the other, Matt.

Caveman, I agree that site's don't NEED the kw in their domain to dominate the serps (just look at Amazon), but noone can state with 100% certainty that it won't help in some instances, all things being equal. It may only count for 1/10 of 1%, but that may be the difference between being #10 and being #11.

It's certainly not a magic bullet. And if that's the only thing you're doing to SEO your site...it ain't gonna help a bit.

BigDave




msg:723680
 8:01 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

My guess (and it is only a guess) is that the domain name itself makes a very minor difference, it is the anchor text that ends up helping you.

If all your links are from link trades where you get to choose your anchor text, then I suspect that it will make little difference if your domain is bluewidgets.com, blue-wigets.com, or mamas-army-boots.com.

On the other hand, if many of your links use the domain name in the anchor text, then the hyphen is going to help you on the anchor text.

It probably helps some, but I would not concern myself if I could not get the ideal domain name, as that minor advantage could easily be overcome iin other ways.

caveman




msg:723681
 8:24 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

It makes a big difference with Google, and an enormous difference with Yahoo and MSN

Heh, heh, steveb, I thought you were one of those that railed against "kw-kw2-kw3-kw4.net".

Anyway, to say that it makes a 'big difference' in G is simply not true. No, wait. I can't say that because as BigDave points out, none of us reallly knows. What I think I can say that it's a 'big exageration.'

If it does make any difference at all in G, the difference is so minimal that across the many sites we manage, some of which contain hyphens-kw's and some of which do not, there is no visible correlation between the two sets. (Meaning, the many other SEO and site marketing factors involved are of such greater importance that it's not worth naming sites with hyphens anymore.)

Certainly it has always made a difference in Y!, but this is a G forum, and the question posed was specific to G. With Y!, while I'd agree kw-in-domain matters to an extent, the days of spamming Y! with "kw-kw2-kw3-kw4.net" domain to get high rankings stopped about two years ago.

Don't get me wrong, we have those kw-in-domain.com's. We just don't place much value on them as SEO tools anymore, since SEO is only part of site marketing, and in the context of site marketing, having more professional looking names, and preferably brandable domains, makes more sense.

Gee, I wonder if it would help WebmasterWorld.com to rename itself with a hyphen in between the two words. Nah. Too many good inbounds to the current version at this point. Plus there are all those redirect issues. ;-)

[edited by: caveman at 8:43 pm (utc) on Feb. 3, 2005]

robster124




msg:723682
 8:38 pm on Feb 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Whether it makes a difference or not, what is undoubtedly the case is that an all in one word domain is often easier to advertise, easier to sloganise and neater.

If you want to get to the top of the SERPS for your KW, expend your efforts getting good anchor text KW links to your site.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved