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Pick A Domain Name


Search engines actually read uniform resource locators (URLs), looking for keywords in them. For instance, if you have a Web site with the domain name rodent-racing.com and someone searches at Google for rodent racing, Google sees rodent-racing.com as a match. Because a dash appears between the two words, Google recognizes the words in the domain name. (Google also interprets periods and slashes as word separators.) If, however, you use an underscore or some other character, or if you run the words together (rodent_racing_events.com or rodentracingevents.com), Google doesnít regard the individual words as individual words; it sees them as part of the same word. Thatís not to say that Google canít find text within words ó it can, and youíll sometimes see words on the search-results pages partially bolded,

when Google does just that ó but when ranking the page, itís not going to regard the word it found inside another word as the same as finding the word itself. To see this concept in action, use the allinurl: search syntax at Google. Type allinurl:rodent, for example, and Google finds URLs that contain the word rodent (including the directory names and filenames).

So putting keywords into the domain name and separating keywords with dashes do provide a small benefit. Another advantage to adding dashes between words is that itís relatively easy to come up with a domain name thatís not already taken. Although it may seem like most of the good names were taken long ago, you can pretty easily come up with some kind of keyword phrase, separated with dashes, that is still available. Furthermore, the search engines donít care what first-level domain you use; you can have a .com, .net, .biz, .tv, or whatever; it doesnít matter.

Related SEO Tips

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Does the name have anything at all to do with the site, or is it completely unrelated?

Domain Cloaking
The concept of Domain Cloaking is to show users a pretty web site that meets their need.