Are Domain Names With Hyphens Good for SEO?
From considering which niche you’re serving to exclusively using hyphens to keep things clear, here are 12 answers to the question, “Are domain names with hyphens good for SEO? If so, please share an example of a domain name with a hyphen that performs well.”
- Think About the Niche
- Consider the Context
- Avoid Using More Than One Hyphen
- Remember Google Doesn’t Care
- Use Them for German Markets
- Separate Multiple Words
- Focus on Content, Not Hyphens
- Try Not to Use Hyphens, But They Aren’t the Only Factor
- Gives You Uniqueness
- Steer Clear of Hyphens
- Drop Hyphenated Domain Names
- Only Input for Clarity
Think About the Niche
Passport-photo.online is a perfect example of how successful a domain name containing hyphens can be. This online business specializes in providing passport photos that are up-to-date with complex identity laws.
Despite the rarity of its niche, Passport-photo.online has experienced phenomenal success in optimizing for search engines like Google. It used a hyphen and has been showing up consistently in the top SEO spots for relevant topics, proving that domain names with hyphens can indeed be beneficial for SEO purposes.
Consider the Context
Domain names with hyphens can be good for SEO, depending on the context. For example, if your target keyword is two words combined (such as “online-marketing”), having a hyphenated domain name like “online-marketing.com” can help you rank higher in search engines for that keyword phrase.
However, it’s important to note that having a hyphenated domain name can make it more difficult for users to remember, so it’s best to use them sparingly. A great example of a domain name with a hyphen that performs well is “best-drones.com”, which ranks highly in search engines for the keyword phrase “best drones”.
Remember Google Doesn’t Care
Google, et al., are smart enough to know that hyphens are not used naturally in text, so this automatically discounts them. There’s no reason to worry when your URL or website name uses hyphens. In fact, our very own website has a hyphen in its name: ling-app.com, and our DR rating sits at 65 and rising. Our traffic is at over 900,000 per month.
Use Them for German Markets
Hyphens in domain names are often associated with spam, likely because of past misuse by spammers. While search engines do not penalize domain names with hyphens, they may not be a good choice for a general audience.
However, it is worth noting that the Germans commonly use hyphens because of the “Bindestrich.” This makes hyphenated domain names a good choice for the German market. Mercedes, for example, uses “Mercedes-benz.de” as its German domain, which has proven successful.
Overall, it is generally not recommended to use hyphens in domain names, except when targeting specific markets such as Germany.
Separate Multiple Words
Yes, domain names with hyphens can be beneficial for SEO. The hyphens can help search engines differentiate between multiple words in the domain name, making it easier for them to crawl and index the website.
For example, a domain name with the words “business” and “solutions” could be business-solutions.com, which may rank better than businesssolutions.com.
Focus on Content, Not Hyphens
In terms of SEO value, I see no difference between hyphenated and non-hyphenated domains. If your web content is good and you are getting natural links, your rankings and domain rating will improve regardless of hyphens or non-hyphen domains.
I am using the hyphenated domain for my SEO agency and ranking well for my target keywords such as “hire offshore marketing team”; the only problem I experience is it is hard to build credibility from the hyphenated domain, as a journalist will often ignore your quote because of trust issues with hyphenated domains.
Try Not to Use Hyphens, But They Aren’t the Only Factor
Domain names with hyphens may have some SEO benefits, as they can help search engines understand the separate words in the domain name. However, there is no guarantee that a domain name with hyphens will perform better than one without.
In general, it is recommended to avoid using hyphens in domain names unless absolutely necessary, as they can make the domain name harder to remember and type correctly. Additionally, some people may perceive hyphenated domain names as less trustworthy or professional.
That being said, there are some successful websites that use domain names with hyphens. For example, “eBay” is a highly successful website with a non-hyphenated domain name, but “re-usable” (with a hyphen) is a less well-known website that also appears to perform well in search results.
However, it is important to note that the success of a website is not solely determined by its domain name, and there are many other factors that can contribute to its performance in search results.
Gives You Uniqueness
Using hyphens in your SEO can be an excellent way to brand your business and give it a unique domain name that targets audiences online and can easily distinguish it from other brands.
Furthermore, using a hyphen gives you a unique opportunity to use top-ranking keywords, hence improving your site’s visibility in search results online and boosting traffic. An example of a domain with a hyphen that performs excellently is https://www.free-ebooks.net/
Steer Clear of Hyphens
A big NO. Hyphens are informal and resemble unsafe spam websites. Domain names without hyphens are typically easier to remember and type, and they look more professional. While there are some successful websites with hyphenated domain names, such as www.reviews.com, I do not recommend using hyphens in domain names for SEO purposes.
Drop Hyphenated Domain Names
My experience reveals that adding hyphens to a domain name is not a good idea, despite what some individuals may believe. In fact, because they are frequently linked to spam and low-quality material, domain names with hyphens might hinder your SEO efforts.
I saw this firsthand a few years ago. For a brand-new product we were introducing, we made the decision to utilize a hyphenated domain name. However, despite all of our efforts, we had trouble ranking on search engines. Research revealed that the likely culprit was our domain name. Hence, we moved to a domain name without hyphens, and the benefits were clear right away: our search engine rankings sharply improved.
In addition to making it simpler for people to locate you, a catchy and simple-to-pronounce domain name will support your SEO efforts. According to a Moz study, domain names with fewer characters and no hyphens typically perform better in search engine rankings.
Only Input for Clarity
When it comes to domain names, I usually shy away from registering domain names with hyphens because I wasn’t sure of their value for SEO. However, after doing some research and monitoring domains using hyphens in the name, I discovered they actually were beneficial when used sparingly.
A great example is My-Online-Business.com, which has seen quite a bit of success due to its catchy name and use of a hyphen to break up adjacent words. This type of domain name helps search engine crawlers better understand your website content and can help boost your organic results. In short, the occasional incorporation of a hyphen for clarity in a domain name can be an effective tool to help your SEO efforts!
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