Saturday, September 20, 2008

Does separating Domain Name Keywords with hyphens affect rankings?

Does separating Domain Name Keywords with hyphens affect rankings?

Domain Names play a huge role in search engine optimization for obtaining high search

engine ranking. Type in any keyword into Google for example, and the chances are high

that you will find that more than 80% of the first 10 sites contain that particular keyword

in their domain names. Thus, domain name is one area that can be fully utilized

(obviously taking into consideration that you are optimizing a brand new site from

scratch and not an existing one).

It is also a good idea to include hyphens (-) between each of the keywords within your

domain name. This tells a search engine spider that each word is a separate word, not

one continuous word. The search engines which use keywords in the domain name as a

part of their ranking formula will not be able to recognize keywords unless they are

separated by a hyphen (or a slash or underscore for sub-directories). Search Engines

prefer the use of hyphens in domain names because they can produce more accurate

search results by being able to recognize specified key words in your URL.

Keep in mind that a domain with words separated by hyphens will be harder for users to

remember (and may also decrease the value of the domain). However, if keywords are

used with hyphens the keywords may be interpreted as such by search engines thereby

helping rank a site higher. If at all possible, try to register both forms of the name for

example, and