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Buy Domain Name with Spanish Accent?

Should it have an 'a' with an accent or a traditional 'a'?

10:43 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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About to buy a Spanish language domain to target a Spanish speaking country. I'm buying the local country's extension and the site will be hosted in that country.

The phrase has an accented letter 'a', and I have the option of buying with an accent or without an accent.

Which should I buy?

My two considerations (and feel free to add to this list) are:

1. SEO
2. type-in traffic

For #2, a local has told me that people here are used to typing in domains without accents. But that could change.

I look forward to your help and advice! Thanks!

11:49 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Buy both and 301 from the 'technically incorrect' to the correct Spanish spelling.

I don't think that Google searches differentiate, though Google.es just might.

People may be 'used to' typing in non-accented terms; but that's not quite the point; the point is, what's their preference? Because you don't want a Spanish site that people think is illiterate, do you? ;)

A bigger issue for you is stopping a rival setting up against you with a potentially very similar name. So buy both.

6:44 am on Apr 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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People won't see a non-accented domain name as illiterate. Locals are very accustomed to typing in un-accented domains because this accent thing is new.

The more I think about it, two is too many. Even one is too many. At $40 a pop, for a small latin market, it doesn't look promising that I'll make a return on the investment -- even the cost of the domain name.

I appreciate your thoughts anyway :-)

4:18 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Why don't you reg a spanish dot com and target all of latin america and latin populations in north america?

lower initial investment + larger audience.

12:04 pm on July 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In my experience, IDN still have some issues for several reasons:
- Search Engines do not handle them properly, yet. How many IDN have you seen enjoying a good position in SERPs. I bet very few, if any. Perhaps in the middle term this will be sorted, but not now.
- Spanish and Latin-American users are very used to type URLs without accent at all, even when using a search engine, in fact, some people think an IDN is a misspelling and MANY will simply drop the accent. Currently, there’s no significant advantage on SERPs since most search engines will return the same (or very similar) results when searching for instance sueños or suenos.
- There are serious linking issues since it is not clear yet if you should link using the non English standard character or use Punycode.

If I were you, I would buy the domains but keep them on hold, using at the moment the good old English alphabet dot com and 301ing to the IDNs once the issues have been sorted.

Hope that helps.