The truth about hyphenated domain names
There is a lot of confusion about the use of hyphens being
used in domain names. While researching hyphenated domain names I found a lot of
conflicting information so I will give you a distilled view of what is currently
believed to be the facts regarding hyphens in domains.
When I started Name
Search Domain I had a lot of trouble finding a domain that I could use to
reflect the topic of my site. After quite a bit of research I decided on
NameSearchDomain.com, without hyphens.
It used to be the case that using a hyphen to separate keywords in your
domain name would give you a better ranking in the search engines. For a while
this was the case but due to the over zealous use of keywords in domain names,
search engines now consider this as a spamming technique. Using hyphens in your
domain name still makes it easier for search engines to read but it generally
will not benefit your ranking.
If you use an unhyphenated domain name like myself using keywords it is
generally believed that search engines such as Google can pick out the keywords.
If you use hyphens then the keywords are easier to pick out from your domain
name. So if there is no search engine benefit to using hyphens and keywords in
domain names why do people still use them. The answer is undoubtedly anchor link
benefits and ease of readability.
If you have hyphens in your domain name it is easier for a human to read and
recognise the keywords in a domain. Take a look at specialistcheeseemporium.com
or visit specialist-cheese-emporium.com. It is quite obvious that the hyphenated
version is going to be recognised more easily.
Recognising the domain name is one thing but entering a domain name into your
browser is another. It is easier for someone to type the unhyphenated domain
name and it is easier for someone to give out the domain name to a customer if
it doesn't have hyphens in it. Some people may not know what a hyphen is.
There is believed to be another benefit of keywords in domain names and that
is anchor links, that is keywords in back links to your site. If a webmaster
links back to your site from their site they often use the domain name as the
anchor text. This is obviously good for you as it helps in reinforcing those
keywords with your site to the search engines. So if your site is
specialistcheeseemporium.com they may type this as all one word or possibly as
specialist cheese emporium. For the hyphenated version they would probably type
So when choosing your domain name and deciding on whether to use hyphens you
need to consider how the domain name is going to be interpreted and used by
other people, not machines. I chose my domain name without hyphens purely
because most people will type domains without the hyphens. I do use hyphens but
only in my filenames as this makes it easier for people to read and people are
less likely to type in a page name as they are a domain name.
Find out more about
Domain Names at Name Search Domain. Stuff you need to know if you are
thinking of buying a domain name.
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