Some SEO companies talk absolute nonsense!

Choosing a Domain Name

Having some time to kill at the weekend, as Kai and Dolly installed all of our new machines, I decided to have a flick through, “The Unfair Advantage Book of Winning the Search Engine Wars”, to see if there were any gems of wisdom in the 92 pages.

Chapter One - Choosing the right Domain name

This should be interesting, I thought as I read the opening sentence, ¬†”One of the most basic, yet critically important, strategies is to use your best keywords in your domain address. Heres an example”

It further goes on to say, “If your desired URL is already taken in the .com variety, see if it’s available in the .net or .org category”. It even goes on to suggest that if they are not available, buying or .biz versions of the name.

The next domain name strategy they suggest is to use up all 63 letters in a domain name and cram it full of keywords. They example that they give, is “”

Finally, on the subject of choosing a domain name,¬†”by registering all possible keyword combination domain names you can think of, you’ll not only have them available for your company when needed, but you’ll also have prevented your competitors from securing them against you.”

Is this sound, worthwhile information?

In my experience, following this advice will not help you gain better positions in the search engines, it’s more likely to make it more difficult for you. Why?

1. To suggest it’s critical to have keywords in your domain name is simply nonsense, no matter how you look at it. Yes, it’s true that it can help with ranking in MSN, in particular, but critical? No. Do Yahoo sell Yahoos, do Google sell Googles and does Kenkai sell Kenkais? It can help to have a keyword in your domain name, but don’t fret about it if your choices are already taken.

2. NEVER copy anyone else’s domain name by using a different TLD. Two reasons: you could end up having the name taken off you through the courts, if the original company feels you are using their domain name to try and gain visitors unethically and most importantly, if you sell the same product or service as another company that has the same domain name that is already doing well in the search engines, no amount of optimisation will see Google, in particular, rank both of these sites on the front pages of the engines. You can even pick up penalties if robot software identifies two sites with the same name, but with different TLDs and the site that has been around the longest will always be given preference.

3. Long domain names with lots of dashes rarely succeed in the search engines. To suggest that choosing a domain name with five dashes in is the right way to go, is simply flawed advice. When buying a domain name, try not to buy a domain name with more than one dash. It’s simple logic - if the search engine spider sees a big spammy domain name, it’s logical to assume that the site is a big spammy site!

4. The right way to go is to buy all the domain names that you can think off with all the keyword combinations you can think off, with all the different TLDs you can find? Bollocks! I would always suggest that if you are in the UK that you buy the and .com versions of your domain name and in some cases, the dashed version of your domain name as well, simply to prevent someone else trying to jump on your bandwagon and hurting your domain and brand name. You certainly don’t need to buy all of the .org,,, .net, .eu etc. versions of the domain name, as they rarely rank well on the UK search engines anyway.

The company that put this book out are one of the good guys. Most of the information that they give is sound SEO advice, and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a starting place if they wanted to optimise their site themselves, but this domain name advice, in my opinion and experience, is flawed.

Ironically, the name of the SEO company that is advising readers that it’s critical to have keywords in the domain name and to use up the 63 characters of a domain name are called………..wait for it……….¬†!

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