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I am in the process of searching for available domain names.

Does anyone know if using hyphens in your name is good or bad.

Like if the url indiemusic.com is taken, would it be good or bad to get indie-music.com instead?

also do you think it is better or worse when people want to remember your site link of the top of their head.

any thoughts would be great.

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Last Post by ellena980
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Hyphenated domain names are better for SEO because the search engines can actually pick out keywords from the domain name URL - and some have said that weighs heavily in ranking. Personally, I think that the amount benefited is counteracted 100-fold with a quick and easy domain name that allows word of mouth to spread fast.

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i just read in a book that it is not too good to dashes in your url because of your reasoning. It said your url should pass the radio test. which means if it was told on the radio people would remember it. my website dot com is easier to comprehend and remembmer than my dash website dot com.

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Yeah, I like your analogy to a radio test. That's bad with DaniWeb because most people spell it Danny, unfortunately :(

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This is just an opinion based on experimentation with both hyphenated and non-hyphenated domain names.

Google doesn't care whether a domain name is hyphenated or not, provided that the keywords are there. For example web-site-name.com and websitename.com will produce similar results.

MSN, however, absolutely loves hyphenated domain names, at this time anyway. That may change.

I suggest you take this concept one step further though, name web pages using logical naming conventions as well. For example, a web page named web-site-ptomotion.htm is much better than one named bunchoflettersandnumbers.HTML

Do this with graphics too, especially if you want your images to be searchable. Same theory, web-site-promotion.gif is way better than buchoflettersandnumbers.jpg . Throw in an alt attribute "Web Site Promotion". Provided that this technique is used sparingly, it can be effective in gaining additional weight for that page for the keyphrase.

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But If I had a domain name www.samscat.com, how can Google know to separate it into multiple words without the hyphens? If it's a single word, that's fine, but for multiple words, there really is no way to separate it? Is it "sams cat" or "sam scat" ??

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But If I had a domain name www.samscat.com, how can Google know to separate it into multiple words without the hyphens? If it's a single word, that's fine, but for multiple words, there really is no way to separate it? Is it "sams cat" or "sam scat" ??

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Google returns results for keyphrase searches. If the search was for "sams cat" or "sam scat" google would separate www.samscat.com either way.

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"MSN, however, absolutely loves hyphenated domain names, at this time anyway. That may change."

will have to agree with this statement.
But the hyphenated and non-hyphenated thingy only carries a miniscule weightage in the bigger scheme of search engine optimization and rankings.

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I've seen some interesting results with hyphenated domain names on Google. Not sure how MSN / Yahoo or Ask handles this.

Domain name WidgetA-WidgetB.com has the tendancy to rank better for the query WidgetA WidgetB against a site assuming all other variables equal. The effect doesn't seem to appear on domains with two or more hyphens. And domain names with two or more hyphens are a poor choice for branding and establishing yourself long term.

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Hyphenated URL containing keywords are definitelty good for SEO with a few exceptions.
Try not to be spammy.
For example buy-WidgetB-Cheap.com would actually have a negative effect on SEO, as it might be seen as an attempt at SERP spamming.

If you see yourself having more than one hyphen STOP!

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For example buy-WidgetB-Cheap.com would actually have a negative effect on SEO, as it might be seen as an attempt at SERP spamming.

If you see yourself having more than one hyphen STOP!

That's not true. There are lots of webpages, mostly articles and blog entries, that have a lot of hyphens in their URLs and they rank very well. The whole, "too many hyphens means spam" thing is a myth.

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Apparently, having "-" in the URL is a very good thing, unlike having "_".

If you consider...
http://www.my-cat-and-mat-site.com/the-cat-sat/on-the-mat
http://www.mycatandmatsite.com/thecatsat/onthemat
http://www.mycatandmatsite.com/the_cat_sat/on_the_mat

Okay... basically the same information, but with/without - or _.

Now it appears that Google will look at Hyphenated words as indiviudal words.
Thus my-cat-and-mat-site can be read as...
my cat and mat site
... and thats about it.

It will read conjoined words as individual words, but will interpret the space/break that fits the search pattern.
Thus mycatandmatsite could be read as ...
my cat and mat site
my catan mats it
myca tan atsi
... more conotations - but that doesn't score any more points!


As for the page titles etc... the Underscore is a major pain. Though in a way it is fantastic if someone types in the title of the page... but if they only enter in partially matching terms, it seems that you will not get the same scoring.

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Apparently, having "-" in the URL is a very good thing, unlike having "_".

If you consider...
http://www.my-cat-and-mat-site.com/the-cat-sat/on-the-mat
http://www.mycatandmatsite.com/thecatsat/onthemat
http://www.mycatandmatsite.com/the_cat_sat/on_the_mat

Okay... basically the same information, but with/without - or _.

Now it appears that Google will look at Hyphenated words as indiviudal words.
Thus my-cat-and-mat-site can be read as...
my cat and mat site
... and thats about it.

It will read conjoined words as individual words, but will interpret the space/break that fits the search pattern.
Thus mycatandmatsite could be read as ...
my cat and mat site
my catan mats it
myca tan atsi
... more conotations - but that doesn't score any more points!


As for the page titles etc... the Underscore is a major pain. Though in a way it is fantastic if someone types in the title of the page... but if they only enter in partially matching terms, it seems that you will not get the same scoring.

Google just announced that underscores will have the same effect as dashes so this will no longer be true in the very near future.

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Thank god for that!

I've made 2 topics and sent 3 emails... no official response at all from them... but maybe they do listen to people after all.

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Google just announced that underscores will have the same effect as dashes so this will no longer be true in the very near future.

Good news for those who loves using dashes.

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We have some URL with underscores, and I had read that dashes were better for SEO.

I am glad to hear that I was sure if we were going to have to fix those. Hopefully that gets implemented soon.

Great post.

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Yes, but mostly I think the file names for eg. words.words/words_42.jpg is better than words.words/wrods-45.jpg.


Steve

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Yes, but mostly I think the file names for eg. words.words/words_42.jpg is better than words.words/wrods-45.jpg.


Steve

Unfortunately the opposite is true. Dashes are better then underscores. All search engines recognize dashes as a keyword separator but Google doesn't yet recognize underscores as a keyword separator.

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Do you think its worth redoing all domain names with underscores to change them to domains with dashes?

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Do you think its worth redoing all domain names with underscores to change them to domains with dashes?

How old is your domain name? If it is old enough and have a good traffic, more backlinks and a high PR, my suggestion is don't change your domain name because it will hurt your site.

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The domain name is about 10 years old. Thanks for the advice!! I will leave it and focus my attentions on something else. Thanks again

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I-heppen-to-love-hyphenated-things. My-great-grandfather-invented-the-hypen-and-I-have-been-given-life-time-permission-to-use-the-hyphen-free-of-charge. John

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it's either good or bad, the final answer is up to you. Perhaps, you have to fovus more on your contents and keywords.

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