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  1. #1
    3MTA3
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    The Great Debate of the Perfect Domain

    Since the topic "What's better for my site - a domain used for branding or a domain for SEO? " has been debated time & time again when it comes to SEO, I ask for opinions on this:

    Why can't you just have 2 versions of the domain? First - develop the site based on the SEO-friendly domain. Then buy a branding-friendly version of the domain and do a 301 redirect on it to the SEO-friendly version. This should not produce duplicate content or trigger any type of penalty, and will give you the freedom to use your branding-friendly version of the domain in print media, word of mouth, write on the bathroom wall, etc...

    So whats your thoughts on this?
    Last edited by devised; Nov 9, 2004 at 11:36. Reason: To try and keep posts on topic.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru SimonMc's Avatar
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    Having keywords in your domain name is only a very slight bonus. Is it worth buying the extra domain name. Probably not. Depends on many things like say for instance you get a tiny push up the results that culminates in one extra order for your business per year. Lets say that order is worth $100,000 and your profit is $50,000 then sure...go for it. Other than that the push would likely be so small you would hardly notice it.

    The main thing to get you good ranking is to get as many links pointing to your domain name as is humanly possible with the anchor text of those links using your key words.

    Also...make sure the site you have is human friendly. No point in getting visitors that just leave

    Simon

  3. #3
    3MTA3
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    The main thing to get you good ranking is to get as many links pointing to your domain name as is humanly possible with the anchor text of those links using your key words.
    So then it would be better to have keywords in your domain if people are linking to your site with the anchor text being the domain... right?


    Also...make sure the site you have is human friendly. No point in getting visitors that just leave
    What does this have to do with the domain? And by the way, I'm only speaking of a few keywords in the domain. Not-an-insane-amount-of-keywords-like-this-in-the.domain.


    [back-on-topic]
    I am not asking what version of domain is better. I am asking if incorporating the two versions of the domain together will be legit if set with the 301 redirect.

    [/back-on-topic]

  4. #4
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Go with branding, you can always get your keywords in the url using the folder or file names.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  5. #5
    3MTA3
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    [back-on-topic]
    I am not asking what version of domain is better. I am asking if incorporating the two versions of the domain together will be legit if set with the 301 redirect.

    [/back-on-topic]

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis
    Go with branding, you can always get your keywords in the url using the folder or file names.
    Agreed!

  7. #7
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Most often your site name is related to or similar to your domain name.

    Your site name is the most common anchor text used to link to your site, it is used by major directories like Yahoo and DMOZ.

    So do not pass on a keyword rich domain simply because keywords in your URL do not directly help that much. Realize you're also passing on a keyword rich site name. This is a big deal. A keyword rich site name is the single most effective way to improve your ranking.

    People throw branding out like a buzzword, it rarely applies to independent web businesses. Good branding gives you name recognition. It is a marketing term. Branding is part of customer acquisition. To brand you need to advertise, and heavily. The goal of branding, in addition to name recognition, is the association of your company/image/trademark/product with warm and fuzzy feelings.

    So if you have a 7 figure advertising budget go ahead, work on getting your brand out there. Otherwise don't worry about it.

    You'll find alot of the people here who talk about branding don't even really do it. They might think they do, but they have nothing to show for it. Also, if your site is good, people will come back whether it is superuniquebrand.com or generickeyword.com. So it becomes an issue of getting visitors in the first place.
    Last edited by aspen; Nov 10, 2004 at 21:43.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  8. #8
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Of course, another issue is whether you'll even be targetting keywords with your homepage. If not then you might as well go for something unique.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  9. #9
    3MTA3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Of course, another issue is whether you'll even be targetting keywords with your homepage. If not then you might as well go for something unique.
    agreed

    So if I wanted to use two different versions of my domain for the smack of it, would I be safe by doing it the way I suggested in my original post?

  10. #10
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I never recommend two domains for 1 site.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  11. #11
    3MTA3
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    Ok - thanks

  12. #12
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    Domain and Link Exchange advise needed

    When I picked my domain name I knew nothing about Internet marketing even though I made a career in marketing, however it was a different profession. If I had to do it all over again I would have picked a domain name that was more relevant to my Internet business. Looking at all the top websites in my business category they all have their primary keyword in their domain name. I personally think it plays an important role.

    I have a question for all of you; regarding link exchange, as we know to be successful you need more inbound links than outbound links for higher ranking. However on my last inbound link check report there are a large amount of my outbound links not showing up, even though my company links are listed in their link directory. Do you think since I am not getting the benefit from the mutual link exchange I should continue listing these sites in my directory or does it take several months to show up?

  13. #13
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    I had my host point 2 domains to one IP. Words in your domain name count for more than you guys think, this is frequently visible in top 10 search results...

    Not to undermine linking, as that still IS the most important factor, however, keywords in your domain name should give a noticeable bump.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
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    If you have your host point 2 domains to one IP, you redirected your other domains correct? How do you market the 2 domains for ranking purposes?

  15. #15
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    If you have ONE site and you put all your energy and time and effort into this site, then branding is for you. Over time, you'll get the name implanted in enough bookmarks, memories, and hyperlinks. You won't have any competetion for your keywords, and you will be easily found by search engines.

  16. #16
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I don't think you know what branding is.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying that by choosing ultrauniquekeyword.com you'll rank so well on ultrauniquekeyword that that'll make up for any lost traffic?

    No one searches for ultrauniquekeyword, by using it you're not going to make it popular anymore than it is going to make you popular.

    Someone posting on a forum for advice does not have the funds to be the next Kleenex, Roller Blades, Trapper Keeper, Coke, or Q-Tip.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  17. #17
    3MTA3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're saying that by choosing ultrauniquekeyword.com you'll rank so well on ultrauniquekeyword that that'll make up for any lost traffic?
    Is this directed at my original post?

  18. #18
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    No, that was directed to cawebdevelopment
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    personally i have to go for branding. it creates identity and most of the time people remember it easily. and besides, lets not forget 3rd level domains. if you want to put in keywords to your domain name, you can always do so by putting in "keyword.yourbrandname.com".

    hope that helps.

  20. #20
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    I have to very much agree with aspen. About 99% of websites gain nothing by going for "pure branding", because there is simply no budget for transforming the name to a brand. If a customer buys at your site, and you want him to remember your name and come back, that's fine - but choosing a unique name isn't necessarily helpful for that (unless you have loads of money).

    Keywords - if done right - don't usually have a negative impact on the name-remebrance. The important thing is to not overdo it. "keyword.yourbrandname.com" is an option depending on the business you are in, the more tech affine it is the better you can use it. If you're selling to regular Joes you have to consider the (not so little) chance that it will confuse some people.

    Personally I wouldn't decide upfront wether to go with unique-only or keywords-only. Sometimes a mixture might do best, sometimes pure keyword might do best, and sometimes even a non-keyword-domain can be so catchy (maybe in shape of a wordplay, or some other relatedness) that you still might decide on using it.

  21. #21
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    One of my newer sites is 4webtemplate.net

    My longterm (5 yr) goal with this site is to be #1 for "web templates"

    In MSN's first beta release of their search I was #1, I don't think I deserved it yet though the site was barely a few weeks old.

    Anyways, the name is easy to remember. It starts with a number so in directories it will be ranked high alphabetically. It also includes the keywords I want, meaning my site name does to, so most incoming links I get will have the words "4 Web Templates" which is great anchor text.

    If I had named the site differently, such as "Snazzy Templates" or something like that, while I'd still get the word "templates" in there, I'd have an uphill battle trying to get the word "web". It'd be even worse if I didn't have the word "templates".

    Would it be possible to rank well without the keywords in the site name? Sure. Would it be considerably more difficult? Definitely.

    Keywords in the domain means keywords in the site name, keywords in your title tags, keywords in your incoming links.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  22. #22
    3MTA3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    In MSN's first beta release of their search I was #1, I don't think I deserved it yet though the site was barely a few weeks old.
    It seems that my domains with keywords in them rank very well on the beta release as well.

  23. #23
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen
    Someone posting on a forum for advice does not have the funds to be the next Kleenex, Roller Blades, Trapper Keeper, Coke, or Q-Tip.
    Chris, that's just silly. You don't know who's the real person behind the username in most cases here and elsewhere.
    I do recall seeing a person posting in public forums who created a brand at least as well known as the ones you mention.
    A lot of well known brands started off with someone who has limited funds.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  24. #24
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Maybe I should have said someone posting for marketing help.

    If you're serious enough about your business to get the funding you need to run a real branding campaign (branding is much more than slapping a unique name on your product or business) then you're serious enough about your business to not seek marketing advice from an anonymous forum.

    The fact is that most independent website owners who think they are accomplishing some branding are not doing so. They have nothing to show for their efforts other than a longer walk up the search engine ladder.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  25. #25
    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    I doubt fark spent much on their "branding campaign".


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