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1. Which extensions should I use when helping UK clients select a domain name when .co.uk is not available ? There are so many convoluted extensions, such as .uk.com, but I'm not sure how these are geo-targeted - or not - by Google. I have one .net domain for instance which is #1 on Google.co.uk 'the web', but nowhere at all on 'pages from the uk'.
What are the recommended guidelines for key phrase being part of the URL and hyphens? (It seems to me that the former works, even though some supposed experts say it doesn't matter)
If you include the company name, are these treated as 'stop words' ? I.e. is it detrimental to have 'SmithsWidgets' rather than 'widgets' ?
If you're looking for type in traffic then you'll need a good domain that you think people would type in to get to. A good domain helps, but the above mentioned content will help even more (both would be great).
If you're going to be relying on back links primarily, then the domain won't matter (since people will be clicking on the links).
Hyphens - personally I don't like them but some people swear by them. I do have a few hyphenated domains but they were perfect for my needs (keyword-keyword.com, etc..). If you can get a top rate hyphenated .com (or .co.uk in your case) for not much (even a reg fee) and it fits your site, I'd say go for it.
'If you can get a top rate hyphenated .com (or .co.uk in your case) for not much (even a reg fee) and it fits your site, I'd say go for it'
since I just buy new domains in the standard way and they only cost about £5 for a .co.uk and £15 for a .com so price is not the issue.
I do of course agree about content, but it was just the domain name question I was interested in. Is, for instance, a .uk.com domain treated as a .com or .uk or both? What are the best suffixes for the UK ?
[edited by: Webwork at 2:13 pm (utc) on May 10, 2008]
[edit reason] See Domain Forum Charter re promotional posts [/edit]
I'll agree with MiniAlex, if the .net is perfect and the .com and .co.uk are not available, go for it. I don't see many .gb.uk or .uk.com or .com.uk domains on the auction blocks (if I do see them I'll see 10-15 .co.uk domains before I see one of those).
Unless your looking to flip the domain for a profit, Google rankings off the bat are irrelevant (just make sure to submit a sitemap when you have your site done and ready for visitors).
How I'd decided which extension to use would be semantic meaning. If you're primarily non-commercial then .org or .org.uk or if you're informational then .info or if you're a network then a .net
In the future semantic meaning between domain and tld will become increasing important for branding.