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[edited by: Webwork at 1:17 am (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
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Would it make sense to use a hypen, if you can't get the keyword that is being searched on? <Snip>
<If you wish to discuss keyword concepts please stick to Example.com or Word1.tld: BlueWidget.tld vs Blue-Widgets.tld, ChicagoExample.tld vs AustraliaExample.com, Word1.tld vs Word1-Word2.tld. Thank you.>
[edited by: Webwork at 1:28 am (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
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The best information I have is that keyword(s) in a domain is one of many factors - a very small one - in ranking. Chances are, as the ranking algos improve it will be one small one amongst 100 other small ones and a baker's dozen of larger factors such as the weight assigned to the inbound links (quality signals and score), the depth of and quality signals assigned to the content, etc.
Do I favor generic descriptive domains? Yes, but for reasons other than search engine love, which love is reportedly a very fickle thing.
[edited by: Webwork at 1:25 am (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
For branding purposes, it helps to have your site name and your domain name match. If you have your keyword in your domain name, then you can have your keyword in your site name and still achieve this. If you have your keyword in your site name, then a greater proportion of your inbound anchor text will contain your keyword, and that makes a big difference.
Of course, there are other ways of achieving this goal (e.g. acronyms), but this is why I like keyword domains.
That's not to say that one ought not to plant soybeans whilst there's a market demand for . . tofu?
If you can say "do this, it will gain you ranking" you are pointing to exactly that which the mathematicians and search scientists will next be laboring to neutralize.
If they neutralised every factor, then all results for a search query would be tied! Some factors have to be left alone, and these can be used to gain ranking. Ideally, these will be factors that make for a good page that's easily understood by search engines. Work with the engineers, and they won't be looking to neutralise the techniques you're using.
Not all factors are as easily gamed as keywords in domain -> inbound anchor text -> (presumed durable) ranking boost. The variables a search engineer ought to target for elimination or downward weighting will (should) always be those variables that are easiest to play games with. If searcn engineers can't algorithmically discern and factor out the lightweight stuff, such as keyword-domain-to-anchor-text-bootstrapping, then search engines are and will forever be broken.
Ultimately, if inbound anchor text is to have any value, it will be because an algo can be engineered that finds commonality amidst great variability in the language chosen for inbound links. Fixed patterns of anchor text are more likely to be subject to greater scrutiny in any system that actually works since fixed patterns suggest a certain pressure to conform, a certain artificiality or compelled pattern. Domain = Anchor Text, albeit "natural", is - in effect - a thoughtless vote pattern, something "programmed in" or automated-by-design, and consequently it is a pattern likely to be downward adjusted at some point.
Emphasis on "likely". All this assumes a certain intelligence. I may be a search engineering knucklehead or unduly optimistic. The merit of the proposition also assumes the capacity to computationally execute any intelligence that may exist in the proposition. ;-/
[edited by: Webwork at 3:38 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
Neutralize all factors? You're hoisting your argument on an absurd presumption. Why would all factors be neutralized?
I was just trying to make the point that to rank sites some criteria must be used, and if you can make your site meet these criteria then it's going to rank better, even as the engineers make progress. Sometimes you can say, "Do this, it will gain you ranking," without setting someone up to be the next victim of an algo change.
I'm of the mind that websites are best engineered to be people friendly. People friendliness is the sole reason why I favor generic descriptive domains. People friendliness is the only reason why I would argue their value proposition to anyone: They are easy to remember. They imbed that which people are often looking for. They are, in effect, a no-brainer.
In my reality search engines are best treated as worms: Something constantly moving and working in the background that produces significant value but nothing that I spend my day thinking about.
Everyone is free to chase the searchquick du jour and many have made their fortune doing it. If owning a generic domain yields some extra small measure of search engine love today then enjoy that little ray of sunshine whilst it lasts. I'd rather not think of anything I do as an effort to please a search engine except to the degree that a search engine thinks and act like people.
[edited by: Webwork at 4:07 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
I'm of the mind that websites are best engineered to be people friendly. People friendliness is the sole reason why I favor generic descriptive domains. People friendliness is the only reason why I would argue their value proposition to anyone: They are easy to remember.
LOL, this is where we agree to disagree!
I think their non-uniqueness makes them easy to CONFUSE.
Was it widgets? Or bestwidgets? Or betterwidgets? Oh, maybe it was widget? Ah, hell, I know floobie sells widgets, I'll buy it there!
I do like keywords appearing in a domain name, but with something else added to make it unique and memorable.
Very few sites that are truly of interest to users are keyword domains. I'm not saying they are not successful. (I'm sure that popular single-keyword domains get more than enough traffic to pay the bills, and can successfull arbitrage the traffic.) Just not of interest to users.
However, all those big brands that started their life as websites often had a few million dollars to spend on branding and driving traffic. Even those failed for wont of compelling content or service.
I'll still take Pets.tld any day of the week, over FurryLittleCreatures.tld, for building a compelling pets community. ;-P
What would the best choice be?
<snip> <edit>A domain that is a YouTube variant for piano or a domain that is the same as the verbal description of the service "in the domain"?</edit>
Or something else alltogether?
[edited by: Webwork at 9:31 pm (utc) on Nov. 28, 2006]
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if someone does a search for "video piano lessons" it seems more likely that a domain name with "video piano lessons" as part of the domain will rank higher than a variation on the you tube name even if the meta description and meta keywords do a good job of describing what the site is about.