Hyphen in Domain Name : How does it effects SEO?

Hyphen in Domain Name : How does it effects SEO?
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Every business always stuck while choosing a good domain name is very important for every website. A good domain name not only makes a website recognizable but also plays a vital role in SEO. The domain name may contain letters (a-z), numbers (0-9) and hyphen or dash (-). So, of course, a hyphen is allowed in domain names. Moreover, a single domain may contain multiple hyphens in it.

But because of recent spam activities, a new question has arisen whether having a hyphen in domain name is good or bad. We will see different factors regarding this issue.

I wouldn’t say it is bad to have hyphen or dash in a domain name. But it may be bad if the instincts behind that are bad.

Availability of a domain name

Majority of good domain names are already booked. The even sadder part is most of those domains are parked domains. So, it is sometimes convenient to ad an extra character in your domain, so that we can get the desired domain words or brand name.

But one must take care that the non-hyphenated version of the domain name is not a brand. Otherwise it may look spam or phishing. For example, face-book.com. There is no any point in booking this domain, just because it is available. It does look spammy. Because it conflicts with facebook.com.

So, if you are worried with the domain availability, consider this fact first.

Loss of organic traffic

Hyphenated domains are usually confusing. People usually get confused with the dash. They often forget the dash.

A very popular hyphenated domain I know, is Digital-Photography-School.com. While people talk about this website, they call it as “Digital Photography School”. No one says “Digital dash Photography dash School”. And a common tendency is to type all these words without hyphen. So, if anyone doesn’t know about these dashes, he/she may type DigitalPhotographySchool.com, which is nothing but a parked domain.

This may result in a huge loss in traffic. Hence, I would recommend to go with a domain name without any hyphen. This will help you to gain the viral traffic.

Spammers and Hyphens

Spammers may take bad advantage of the convenience. They book hyphenated domains only to stand out in search results. For example, buycheapviagraonlieneinindia.com is much more complicated than buy-cheap-viagra-online-in-india.com. The second domain fetches more attention than the first one.

Only for this reason, hyphen domains may be considered as spam. 

Effect on SEO

As, hyphens are allowed in domain names, Google as well as other search engines do not take it as bad in first view. For search engines, domains of both the types are same. Neither helps, nor hurts.

What matters is the way you treat your domain. highly-keyword-stuffed-domain.com vs. quality-content-rich-domain.com have a huge difference.

Hence, as stated earlier, spam may result in a penalty. Otherwise, it is 99.99% safe to use dashed domains. But still.. there is 0.01% of risk.

Brand building

Hyphens in domain name make it very difficult to build your online brand. I already said people say only the words. No one says “the dash brand dash name”.

I still remember my friend told me “Theme Junkie provides very good themes”. And I visited themejunkie.com. This domain was parked, with highly relevant ads. I didn’t know anything about parked domains at that time. I was caught in the labyrinth of ads so that I couldn’t even get that it was a wrong place.

Hence, if you are pursuing a good brand name, never ever go with the dashes.

Yet, we found some of the popular websites with a hyphen/dash in it’s domain…have a look it here

http://css-tricks.com – 9.7Million Views/month

http://icc-cricket.com – 2.7 Million Views/month

https://harley-davidson.com3.93 Million Views/month

Well, Germans love hyphen or dash in their web domain name, that’s why most of German popular websites has hyphen in their domain, this is only an exceptional country globally who prefers hyphen in their domain name.

So, make sure you are not interpreting anything wrong from this post. Also, tell me which domain you prefer.


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