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All are doing much the same, bar minor fluctuations which are more noticeable for search terms that appear further down the SERPS.
Unless one uses multiple hyphens, which can be indicative of spammy domains, I still have complete confidence in a domain name with a hyphen, especially where the hyphen makes the domain name easier on the eye and/or easier to type without spelling mistakes by tokenising the name.
For example, I'd reckon a (fictitious) site about search results in google is *much* better served for visitors by google-res.com not googleres.com
Is your site affected?
Yes, on three of our sites we have discussion boards that have produced a good number of indexed pages over the years that pull good traffic. Two are hyphenated domains and one is not. The non-hyphenated domain is doing fine; the other two are down over 95% in pages indexed.
I don't believe this is a penalty; a problem for sure, but right now Iím not ready to start believing Google is penalizing sites because there is a hyphen in the domain.
I do believe we are seeing a real fundamental shift in how these guys are data mining, and its going to result in some changes.
Certainly doesn't appear to be a system-wide penalty agianst hyphenated domains. ( or at least those with 1 hyphen ).
[edited by: bobothecat at 5:35 pm (utc) on May 18, 2006]
I used an SEO product to get the file names prettier than?t=#*$!xxx. Pages are currently /forums/txxx-blue-widges.htm
Matt did suggest using dashes instead of underscores here : [mattcutts.com...] I wonder if things have changed?
Note that Matt Cutts' own site uses many hyphens
in the page names, but none in the domain name.
Mentioned elsewhere it doesnt bode well for Google, that webmasters all over are following the **rules** with good white-hat SEO, great content, yet are being turfed out on the street. Out of desperation they now having to spend even more time analysing innocuous variables like hyphenation. I just wish the search engine market was less dominated by one player (especially here in the UK where Goliath has 80% of the market). Then we wouldn't have to worry so much about every little Google muscle spasm.
I have a hyphen not because of SEO or anything, but because if I didn't, it would be a confusing domain name, both to type and to remember (basically the same letters would be up against one another).
I also own the non-hyphenated version of the domain name, but I wouldn't switch to it because with the hyphen it's easy to read and type (and it's been around for almost a year).
I don't think this is a matter of hyphenation though - I think it's bigger. I lost all of my backlinks I had since around October/November, backlinks that I had in the past few weeks, and that still exist on the sites (and these aren't spammer sites, they are very big and very popular, and the backlinks aren't trackbacks, etc., but actual links the people running those sites published and the sites themselves all average at minimum a PR of 7, and most are 8).
We own our domain for seven years now..
We own the domain w/o the hyphen as well, but being that we are established with thy hyphen we where recommended not to start up with a new domain.
However, if hyphen is an issue..Who knows maybe we will be forced to switch some day..
I have had quite some difficulties getting a site on a hyphenated domain to rank for the two words in the domain name. And it is still, after almost two years buried.
However, it ranks as #1 for a search for the first of the two words only.
So no, I wouldn't say there is a penalty for hyphenated domains, but using a keyword1-keyword2.com type of domain, but it's quite easy for Google to tell what two words you are optimising the site for... (and to add any over optimisation filters accordingly).
i've been hearing the various hyphen theories for years, and the only one that I buy is that it might be used as a quality trigger in combination with a lot of other factors. I seroulsy doubt that it directly affects ranking on its own.
The only one that I buy is that it might be used as a quality trigger in combination with a lot of other factors.
That's also the one I subscribe to. Typically the more hyphens, the louder the signal. One or two hyphens in a domain (URI) is no big deal. But, add a third, fourth, fifth, and then combine that with 3 and 4 word keyword phrase hyphenated directory and file names and you may have some issues. Add in all the other things that usually accompany that type of structure and you have a recipe for failure.
From Matt's blog.....
- The team refreshing our supplemental results checked out feedback, and on May 5th they discovered that a ďsite:Ē query didnít return supplemental results. I think that they had a fix out for that the same day. Later, they noticed that a difference in the parser meant that site: queries didnít work with hyphenated domains. I believe they got a quick fix out soon afterwards, with a full fix for site: queries on hyphenated domains in supplemental results expected this week.