Challenge - Show me a popular site with a hyphen in its domain

It's interesting to see that most of the VERY popular sites (Top 500 Alexa) do not have hyphenated domains. Any reasons for this? Harder to promote perhaps? :xeye:

Good point. Off the top of my head I can't actually think of any.

Massive advertising budgets/household names who think that non-hypenated domains look better visually, are easier to say, type in and in anycase, probably have the hypenated domains anyway and do not use them. Large budgets meaning that if they do have a 2 word domain, streetmap.co.uk for example, the SEO benefit from street-map.co.uk would be negligible (sp*).

Another is that a lot of them, a hypen would not work; you would not have [www.ama-zon.com, and [url="http://www.m-s-n.com"]www.m-s-n.com](http://www.ama-zon.com) would be a mouthful.

Aspen here has some sites which are popular and have hyphens in them. If you are talking about being popular and in the top 500 Alexa rankings, then www.m-w.com is a good example.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/?url=m-w.com

It is only a rumor that hyphenated domains are "inferior" to non-hyphenated domains. Both work the same. Now that you do not have many one word domains available, you can use hyphens. People mainly avoided them before since alternatives [without hyphens] were available.

when it comes to cheap search engin optimzation, I think hyphenated domains fare better.

At least that is my opinion

The top 500 sites on the Internet are generally run by large companies and promoted through advertising, or they are early movers and were created a long time ago (as far as sites go).

The age of the site matters because back in say 1995 it was easier to get a one word domain than it is now.

I own 3 domains with hyphens, neither of which I've seen any drops in popularity due to the hyphen.

Of course neither are extremely popular, but then it's all about promotion isn't it? I mean if you advertise with a hyphen doesn't it become just as branded one without?!

That's probably true since, for example www.washingtonpost.com also has www.washington-post.com, but chooses to advertise www.washingtonpost.com.

Same thing goes with www.cartoonnetwork.com and many many others. Obviously theres an advantage when it comes to marketting it. Especially when advertising on a radio station, since the announcer will have to say: "www dot washington hyphen post dot com". Much more confusing.

Hmm good point but I do have one:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/

Its a very popular online comic among gamers and gets thousands of hits a day.

and

http://www.go-gaia.com/

one of the largest forums and communities I have everseen in my life (and just a few months old)

Here is a site that is very popular and has a hyphen in it's name.

http://www.alexa.com/data/details/?url=harmony-central.com

I have a few domains, X rated, with hyphens they are in the Top 10 on search engines. I think it all depends on the names.

What about late-rooms.com?

www.run-ricky-run.com

I developed a site that was ranked #1 for three years. The company was an after market truck accessories reseller. I optimized the site myself of course and used hyphenated URLs in the domain name and elsewhere as one of my SEO tactics. The optimization was so successful it was nearly impossible to push it off the stack. No advertising required. cool

I did the project dirt cheap. I mean dirt cheap as in under $1,000 as I had been referred to the customer by a guy who had a falling out with them so I felt compelled to 'prove myself.' Despite that I had to justify myself over and over again for three years until they decided to 'go with someone else' after getting the business from their pals on the golf course who laughed at them for not having flash and eye-candy on their website.

I tried my best to show them logs and articles and whatever I thought would benefit their understanding explaining that search engine ranking was critical to marketing truck accessories to male customers.

They went with the other provider who immediately plugged them into a cookie cutter template that is sold to many other truck accessory resellers. Same text statements, same layout. The whole nine yards of instant failure from a SEO perspective. These shamsters blew smoke up the customer's gluteus maximus with the old "we're specialists in your line of business" ca-ca de baca and the suckers fell for it and dumped me.

They transferred the domain and I immediately observed Google doing domain transfers using the benefit of my rankings to load their 'new' cookie cutter template.

Google was friendly and removed the ranking as soon as I asked.
Now the chumps are nowhere to be found via Google. Nada. Nowhere. They have to start from the beginning and will get nowhere when using the same template with the same text and the same layout as other sites.

So. Hyphenated URLs can produce top ranking. At least it was possible to use hyphenated URLs before Google recently modified their secret sauce this last week.

This one came my way recently, just in time to be added to the list!
Looks like it was designed for this discussion....but it looks a bit ott to me!

http://uk.d-i-s-c-o-v-e-r.com/

AFIC that attempt would have produced absolutely nothing if SEO was the objective. The use of a hyphen in a URL was to delineate keywords not characters. Ranking was not improved by the presence of the hyphen itself. Ranking was improved by delineating keywords in a URL that were also to be found and/or matched within the body of the document. Ranking is said to improve if one of the keywords in the hyphenated URL are reused with other URLs embedded in the body of the document.

That was the supposition and it seemed to produce results for me and others although when speaking of SEO itself I have always maintained it is a hit or miss guessing game, unreliable, and unproveable as Google and others do not disclose their trade secrets.

Yeah, the point being hyphenated URLs may help with SEO, but it's only one very small piece of a very large SEO strategy puzzle.

It doesn't matter if there is a hyphen. I visit sites like m-w.com and harmoney-central.com. I think m-w.com makes it easier to remember.

Now let's not forget www.webmaster-resources.com wink

christ almight, how does a site like http://www.go-gaia.com get 12 million posts in a few months? 6k users online, wtf am I doing wrong lol