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Are Hyphens Bad?

There has been an ongoing debate on the internet about whether or not it is good to have hyphens or dashes in your domain name.


In the earlier days of the internet using dashes in a domain name seperated keywords and improved placement and search engine ranking in the then authority, Yahoo. When Yahoo stepped down to Google, the dash-a-thon subsided. But are there still benefits to seperating keywords of domain names with dashes?

Readability
Though it takes longer to type or dictate, visually reading a domain name with dashes helps reders seperate words.
(ex. carsmart.com vs. car-smart.com)

Availability
As .com's are snatched up desirable dashless domains may no longer be available. If a domain buyer is willing to use a dash in the domain they still may be able to secure a .com with good keywords.

SEO
As far as search engine optimization is concerned it is the general belief among successful webmasters that using a dash can only help and not harm. Although Google seems to give no presedence to placing domains with dashes ahead of those without, other influential search engines (Yahoo, and others) still do.

Keywords
Although search engine giant Google doesn't seem to prefer dashes websites with keywords in the domain seem to rank higher than websites without the searched keyword in the domain. Test it out yourself. You'll see the top listings almost always have the searched keyword in the domain. So if you have to use dashes to get the best words in your domain it would be worth having a longer name to do so.

The Verdict
Go ahead, use the keywords you want in your domain name and seperate them with dashes. You will only benefit from doing so.


Related Article: How Do You Spell Domain? >>