Saturday, June 30, 2007

Registering Hyphenated Domain Names for Search Engin

Note that a registered domain name may include a hyphen (-) but no other punctuation. This is often helpful when you want to register a two-word domain name and the non-hyphenated version is already taken. For example, you may not be able to register the domain name DomainNameRegistration. com because it is likely taken.  But, you may be able to instead register the virtually identical domain name: Domain-Name-Registration. com. In fact, you may want to intentionally register domain names using hyphens as word separators as your first priority if you're looking to create websites which can be most easily found in search engines.  Yes!  Multiple studies of the internal functioning of Google and Yahoo and other search engines reveal that using the hyphen as a word separator in domain names allows a search engine to more easily determine word breaks and is thus very effective at producing significantly higher search engine placement results than non-hyphenated domain names.  So don't fear the hyphen when you register domain name!

On the other hand, if you wish to create a domain name which is more memorable, you can safely estimate that the vast majority of your website visitors will assume that a domain name spoken to them does not include hyphens.  Also note that when domain visitors remember domain names, they typically do not remember the hyphen as easily as a domain name consisting of all letters (or letters and numbers) and thus they often omit the hyphens when trying to remember a domain name and type it into the address bar on their browser.
For this reason, many webmasters will register a domain name in both a hyphenated version and non-hyphenated version.  For example, typing into your browser's address bar will bring you to the website because we registered this alternate, hyphenated domain name in the event our customers mistakenly type it into their browser that way.   This is a good way to prevent competitors from stealing a portion of your business by registering mistypes (and alternate extensions) of your domain name.   As an example of an alternate extension, you'll find that if you type the name into your browser, you'll similarly reach the website because we registered that alternative extension as well.

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