Dashes in Domains

  • Dragon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you guys know if dashes have an impact on Google's domain ranking, let alone all the other factors involved?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

From my understanding and from what I have gathered from what Matt Cutts has stated in some videos, Google sees dashes as if they are spaces in between words. So if you had a domain that had the words webmaster-forum in it then Google would see the two words as "webmaster" and "forum" instead of "webmasterforum" which would be a good thing in that case. Google uses over 200 signals in determining how you rank for different phrases, and the domain name is one of them. The path after the domain name is also considered and this video below talks about dashes (or hyphens) versus underscores. Google treats underscores as if there was no space. You can see it here:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3SFVfDIS5k
  • Dragon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks Bigwebmaster - that's very helpful.

Got another one for you guys - do you know whether the order of keywords in domains with dashes has an impact on rankings. That is, whether "salsa-lessons.com" has a greater advantage than "lessons-salsa.com" from a purely SEO point of view.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

From my understanding it could have a small impact. The proximity of how close words are together can make an impact too. So for instance if you had:

webmaster-resources-tutorials-scripts-forum dot com

the word webmaster has a further proximity from forum than just:

webmaster-forum dot com

So that could have an impact on the signal if the keyword was webmaster forum. However, I believe the impact of this is very slight, probably wouldn't make a difference if any as the signal would likely be very weak, so probably not much to worry about.

Remember there are hundreds of signals so no one thing you can do will allow you to get the #1 result on Google. You could have no keywords in your domain name and still get #1 on Google, it just depends on how your do for all of the signals together that Google ranks on.

I would spend more time focusing on creating an awesome website, with great content that users who find your site just cannot wait to tell others about. If you can achieve that everything else will follow and you will have a very successful website. I wouldn't worry too much on the details such as this, just do things that make sense and are logical for the user and making them remember your domain name, and want to come back.
  • Dragon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks again for the prompt reply.

I agree with you and I am certainly minding all the other factors you mention. I am exploring a venture where SEO would play a big component, and I understand that keywords found within domain are one of the more heavily weighted factors for SE ranking, along with metas, inbound links, content, and so forth.

Either way, that makes sense. Thank you!

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