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  1. #1
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    Placement of hyphen in domain.

    Hello to all,

    I am thinking about writing a book. Now whether or not it will even be published is one thing, yet for marketing purposes I am trying to buy the domain that would match my book title.

    I asked the owner if I could by the name and they replied with $50,000 and percentages of what I make with using the domain.

    I am doing a site and book based on self help. I was shocked, so I bought the .net that was surprisingly still available when everything else was taken.

    So to my question. I am thinking about buying a domain with a hyphen based on the site I could not buy. But then I found another name that I liked better

    So say the site was

    HeavenlyLiving.com

    it is taken

    so then I bought the .net and saved 49,990 dollars.

    But worried if the person may do a site similar to mine, I am thinking about mixing it up

    so...

    Heavenly-Living.com

    or just

    Heaven-ly.com as an open ended area of what I want it to be.

    I know I might be asking for a lot, but I am curious what you think is the best options as a marketing domain.

    My worries are if I work hard to build a self help site, and then the person who has the .com builds a site close to mine, people will then go to their site on accident.

    But maybe the same thing will happen with a hyphen.

    Thanks for your help

    Chris
    Go broncos

  2. #2
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    Or maybe you all may think that a different name might be better.

    I am just thinking that I would like to make difference in this world and if I can help other people it would be great. So a name and idea has to match
    Go broncos

  3. #3
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    If you have hyphens in your domain name it is easier for a human to read and recognise the keywords in a domain. Take a look at travelwebsitesonsale . com or visit travel-websites-onsale com. It is quite obvious that the hyphenated version is going to be recognised more easily.

    So when choosing your domain name and deciding on whether to use hyphens you need to consider how the domain name is going to be interpreted and used by other people, not machines. I chose my domain name without hyphens purely because most people will type domains without the hyphens. I do use hyphens but only in my filenames as this makes it easier for people to read and people are less likely to type in a page name as they are a domain name.

  4. #4
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Hyphens in domain names are hard for visitors to remember and they have a feel of being spammy. You are better off sticking with the .net website however I find it curious why you are worried that the .com site would copy yours (when technically any domain extension could attempt to do so). I really don't see a reason why anyone would copy your website (until it is popular) but having a hyphen in the name wouldn't make a difference in that respect. The real problem is if someone wants to clone your website they will just pick a name similar to yours or try cybersquatting with the title name, to cut a long story short, why worry about something happening until it does? Most websites don't get cloned on the web and they are much more popular than what most of us could hope to achieve.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard ~ServerPoint~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Hyphens in domain names are hard for visitors to remember and they have a feel of being spammy. You are better off sticking with the .net website however I find it curious why you are worried that the .com site would copy yours (when technically any domain extension could attempt to do so). I really don't see a reason why anyone would copy your website (until it is popular) but having a hyphen in the name wouldn't make a difference in that respect. The real problem is if someone wants to clone your website they will just pick a name similar to yours or try cybersquatting with the title name, to cut a long story short, why worry about something happening until it does? Most websites don't get cloned on the web and they are much more popular than what most of us could hope to achieve.
    You are right. But some domain names have good progects with such domain names. For example webmaster-talk
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard esds's Avatar
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    I agree with ServerPoint, you may need to add a single hyphen to your domain especially when you want to separate two keywords or you want to make a different meaning by adding a hyphen between two words.

  7. #7
    Trash Boat mkoenig's Avatar
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    Hyphens are hart to remember.

    Chances are you'll be sending 70-80% of your return traffic to the site without the dash, until you've sorta branded yourself.

    I think hypens are cool if you also own the non hyphenated one as well.

    example of this practice: E Junkie has there website at e-junkie.com but also owns ejunkie.com

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot harryzimm's Avatar
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    No hyphens in the main domain is perceived as more professional.

    When they find out you own the .net name… offer to let it go for $50,000.01
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict Newviewit's Avatar
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    Would recommend the .net over a hyphen .com

    Reason: Have a look at the top 1000 sites by traffic.. none or very few use hyphens for a reason because it looks spammy.

    When picking a domain you need to look at how easy it will be to say (shorter the better). Word of mouth is a valuable marketing tool... imagine someone saying 'heavenly dash living dot com'. It just doesn't sound proper.

    I would recommend picking the .net if you absolutely have to have those 2 keywords. Some traffic will naturally be typed into the .com and there's nothing you can do about it except build your brand recognition (including the name.net prominently on the website and marketing material so consumers remember).

    Alternatively you could pick a different title and get the .com. If you're interested I could probably help you out...
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  10. #10
    Non-Member MyDomAinZ.us's Avatar
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    If it is a book you can go for .name or .org or so.
    Best regards,

  11. #11
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    You're in a tough spot either way. A lot of people will forget .net and type .com because they've been conditioned to type .com for years now. A lot of people will also forget to enter in your hyphens (explaining hyphens when you give out your url is a pita too), so the traffic will end up on the .com again.

    So either way I think you're going to send the existing site some traffic unless you can think up a new name (a .com without hyphens) that isn't taken
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  12. #12
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    BrandonK, you are wrong, most people are accustomed to using com, net and org equally (if your claim was true, wikipedia would be in a lot of trouble). It's only the other gTLD and ccTLD's which people neglect knowledge of. Even when you take that into account most people type a website into Google (even the URL) to find what they want, the address bar seems to be something most people just don't use anymore!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    BrandonK, you are wrong, most people are accustomed to using com, net and org equally (if your claim was true, wikipedia would be in a lot of trouble). It's only the other gTLD and ccTLD's which people neglect knowledge of. Even when you take that into account most people type a website into Google (even the URL) to find what they want, the address bar seems to be something most people just don't use anymore!
    I'd be curious to see some research if you think I'm wrong. I always type wikipedia.com in. Luckily they own the domain and just kick you to .org. I have never owned a .net, but I have seen people first hand that would type domain.net.com

    It's like explaining a subdomain to someone. I see a lot of www. forum.domain .com It's just been hammered into their brains and they don't understand the differences.
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast bobsmithmoodeyit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    BrandonK, you are wrong, most people are accustomed to using com, net and org equally (if your claim was true, wikipedia would be in a lot of trouble). It's only the other gTLD and ccTLD's which people neglect knowledge of. Even when you take that into account most people type a website into Google (even the URL) to find what they want, the address bar seems to be something most people just don't use anymore!
    I agree...BrandonK you are wrong. In the UK people are accustomed to using .co.uk, and these days equally .com, .org.

    I agree that it was thought that using a hyphen was unprofessional. However does this argument really ring true with those that do not know about other domain such as .net, .eu. gov.uk, etc etc.

    I don't think so. Many people would not know that using a hyphen is unprofessional. Why else would coca-cola.com exist...Its all down to marketing your product and getting in the eyes of the beholder!

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast bobsmithmoodeyit's Avatar
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    btw...can anyone spot the broken link on the coca-cola.com home page for Great Britain...haha

  16. #16
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    Really great suggestions. I know it seems weird to think so much ahead of time. But look at Nintendo, if someone would have had the wii.com they would have had to buy it, so I am trying to brand myself before I have a "self" in a way.

    I guess I am looking towards the positive side of things. I do understand that things take a very long time to get right. Yet in steps I hope to get there, I just do not want a domain name to stand in my way
    Go broncos

  17. #17
    You Bet Your Life...Really lerxtjr's Avatar
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    Still thinking there's a way around buying this domain. Personally, I take favor in .com's above anything. Unless it's a non-profit, I don't touch .org domains. And, .net, well, I've fought people on this for years, but line up a perfectly optimized .com site with a .net site and the .com site will be higher on google organic searches. It doesn't make sense why but it just is. Geez, I dread the replies already that I'll have to defend (again)

    Anyway, why not try variations of your title with a .com... without hyphens?

    -whateverdomainBOOK.com
    -MYwhateverdomain.com
    -BESTwhateverdomain.com
    -LEARNwhateverdomain.com

    The list could go on and on of your possibilities. Go with a .com.

  18. #18
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lerxtjr View Post
    And, .net, well, I've fought people on this for years, but line up a perfectly optimized .com site with a .net site and the .com site will be higher on google organic searches. It doesn't make sense why but it just is. Geez, I dread the replies already that I'll have to defend (again)
    Sorry to point this out but the domain extension plays no part on the SEO ranking so what you are saying is essentially co-incidence (or poor optimization on the .net website), you are perpetuating a myth as having a .com over a .net will make no difference whatsoever in organic searches.

  19. #19
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    i'd rather use heavenlylivingbook.com than heaven-ly.com, heavenly-living.com or heavenlyliving.net

  20. #20
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    I agree with those who say to stay away from the hyphens. I have been buying and selling domain names for over 2 years and dot coms are definitely worth more. If you ever decided to sell the name as an exit strategy, you would get more money for the dot com.

    As far as choosing a name, the guy asking $50k for the name sounds pretty outrageous. Unless it is one word, already getting tons of traffic or is highly ranked in search engines its probably not worth near that amount.

    I would just choose another good dot com instead of obsessing with that name. You might be able to find a cheap one at tdnam dot com. You can also use the tool at domainsbot dot com. This is an awesome tool for finding names.

    Once you start selling your book, if you have an affiliate program of some sort, you can always offer the owner of that other domain an increased commission for promoting your book. This way you still get paid and without having to actually buy the domain name. If hes not making money any other way, he may be likely to agree to joining your affiliate program.

  21. #21
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    harryzimm has just said No hyphens in the main domain is perceived as more professional.
    I wanna know where did that come from? Although there are many new domain extensions available, dotcom is still the best choice. When typing in a web address, Internet users automatically want to type in a dot com extension, since this is the extension that has been embedded into our brains from the start.

  22. #22
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    futhuremore, dashes, underscores or any other characters within your domain name that may cause confusion. This may lead people to go to the site with the same address as yours but no dash. This means not only will you lose traffic, if the site is similar you are transferring it to your competitors.

  23. #23
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    hyphens are great if you want to SEO a site. Hyphens are treated as spaces (from some sources), but in your case - hyphens are hard for users to remember.

  24. #24
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    But, as long as u don't expect return users who just remember your site domian, and then type in it, then hypens are good for they are more easier for us to recognise the keywords in a domain.

  25. #25
    You Bet Your Life...Really lerxtjr's Avatar
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    you are perpetuating a myth as having a .com over a .net will make no difference whatsoever in organic searches
    I know, I know, I've been through all this before. Until you beat your head against a wall to optimize a .net site to only get so far on serps and then convert the whole darn thing to .com and within a week you're on the first page for like 100 phrases, you just won't be convinced. Happened exactly like that. But, whatever.


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