Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: buckworks & webwork

Message Too Old, No Replies

selecting a domain name

does a dash make a difference



4:53 am on Oct 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hi all - just wondering if anybody has a domain name with a "-" (dash) - like my-widgets.com

the domain I am looking for is mywidgets.com - however, they are all bought and "parked" - no websites exist.

so i am thinking of buying "my-widgets.com" - with a dash - my question is - does it make a significant difference when it comes to search engine ranking? - especially considering the fact that the domains with the dash don't exist?

Please share your thoughts. Thank you


5:24 am on Oct 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Domainers look down their noses at the dash. They shun the dash. They diss the dash. They eschew the dash!
But with so many domains locked up, it's becoming more common and I've seen some quite big sites around with dashes in the name.
So if you like the word combo I'd say go with the dash.


6:07 am on Oct 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Based on my own experience with domains and dashes, I will say with confidence that if you're intending to develop a real site, a dash or two in the domain name won't create any noticeable SEO difficulties.

The main place where the dash would be a problem is for offline promotions. Dashes in domains are clumsy in spoken contexts, and if you promote it in print there will always be a few users who forget the dash when they type it in.

Be aware that working hard to promote a domain with a dash ... when someone else controls the domain without dash ... will increase the value of their domain as well as your own.

If you can live with those limitations, the domain name with the dash might work okay for you.

Think very, very hard to see if you can come up with a non-dash domain name, though. It will simplify life as your site grows.


8:01 am on Oct 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you! guys - appreciate your feedback.


1:49 am on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

From what I've seen, a .com/.net/.org will receive an "exact match bonus" where the search engines give the domain an added bonus when the domain matches the search phrase exactly ("my widgets" but not "buy my widgets"). I don't believe that Google extends that bonus to hyphenated domains.

Regardless of the hyphens, you will increase your rankings from the anchor text of inbound links as most people will link to your site as "My Widgets".

Search engines aside, I'd be hesitant on building a business on a second rate domain and run the risk that a competitor would buy the non-hyphenated version and leapfrog you.

man in poland

11:27 am on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Go for the unhyphenated version if at all possible. I built my biggest site on a non-hyphenated domain, and had to pay big bucks later to get the non-hyphenated domain. Having said that, I could not have afforded the non-hyphenated domain when I started up, so there is a silver lining! Whenever I see competitors starting up in my sector, if at all possible buy out the 'premium' domain if they start off with a hyphenated version. These domains can cost thousands of dollars, normally from a domain squatter, but in the long term, they can be golden - mainly as a great bargaining lever when you want to buy out that competitor...


11:59 pm on Nov 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

google ignores the -, so this is useful to know, the purists dont line dashes, but the general public does, best to get domain with and without dash, domain-name, domainname


3:30 am on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think the only problem is that while user want to input the dash, he need to check the keyboard.

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month