Using "The" in Domain Name?

If you name your site something like “The Golden Dragon” is it better to buy the domain as or I’ve always read to try to keep the domain names as few words as possible. Omitting “the” would seem like the better choice. The thing is, in the website copy the name would be called “The Golden Dragon.” That’s because it sounds better. Am I right? Omit the “the” or keep it in?

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I suppose it depends on how integral “The” is to the name of the business. I prefer shorter domain names, but it seems to me there’s a strong argument for having the full name in the domain. I was trying to think of examples, and the first one that came to mind was The Verge—which, as you can see, is, rather than—a less intuitive alternative. (Whether they added “the” because was already taken is another question, though. :D)

On balance, I’d go with the “the” version. (And then perhaps snaffle the non-the version—if available—and redirect it to the other.)

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Interesting. I’ve never given it much thought before

“The New York Times” domain not only doesn’t have the “The”, It also abbreviates “New York” to “ny” eg. has been “snaffled” and redirects.

But none of the “the” versions I tried worked.

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I wonder if Google has made us lazy. It’s such a good search tool that there’s no need to know a domain name, as long as you know the business name. So in that sense this is a non-issue. Until, of course, Google shuts down, and we suddenly have to remember domain names again. :stuck_out_tongue:

I had the same problem. The original domain I wanted was taken for 5 or so years and I waited for it to expire. When it finally expired, someone claimed it and I couldn’t so now I’m stuck with using “the” in that domain. Sooner or later, I’ll purchase it when it becomes available again.

Though, now it’s a premium domain so I don’t know if I want to spend $5,000 on just 1 domain alone.

I would never do that on principle, as it encourages people to be greedy. (Trying to sell the rights to a $10 domain name for $5000 is pure greed, nothing else.)


Exactly what I thought. For some stupid reason, you can obtain it through for $2,500, but on the actual website, they are selling it for $5,000.

What I don’t really get is how the heck did they get the domain before I did. I have setup a domain broker with an auction for the pass 5 years and some how, this person just gets it without going through the auction.

I thought this is how the process goes.

  • When the domain expires from the ICANN website and is set to pendingDelete, there is a waiting period in which any registrant has to follow and cannot purchase the domain just yet.
  • Once the waiting period has passed, people who have made a public or private auction can auction for it before any public registrant applies for that domain.
  • Once the auction is over and if no one has auctioned for the domain, the domain will then be publicly available for purchase.

But this isn’t how the process went. There was like 20 some odd days until the domain was released for auction, but this person purchased it and they were from Korea. Just a few weeks before the domain was set to pendingDelete, I had contacted the original owner of the domain and they said that I could purchase it if I’d like since they aren’t using it anymore.

How is this even possible for me not to obtain that domain?

Sorry for hijacking the thread.

When facebook first started they used the domain thefacebook because facebook was already taken (or too expensive). They changed domains to get rid of ‘the’ from the front when they were able to.

Thanks ralph and everyone else who replied. So it’s a tough decision then. Although, I think sounds a lot better than In their case it makes sense. Here’s another example I just found: Now, if they’re doing it as well as The New York Times, then so can’t anyone. I think I will just omit the the. And possibly buy the the domain with the and redirect like you mention.

Sure. As I said, Google will most likely find the site by the name alone—no matter whose site it is.

In their case, the issue is the opposite, as their name doesn’t have “the” in it, so they obviously would prefer the non-the option. Although a more appropriate domain name for Facebook would have been :stuck_out_tongue:

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You just gave me an idea to buy that domain…

On-topic though, I agree with @ralphm, you should stick with the original domain if it doesn’t have “the” in it.

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I’ll sell it to you for $5000. :stuck_out_tongue:


Well there is no domain that is worth $5000, except for popular domains that are already owned by large companies such as google and facebook. I wouldnt even pay more than $100 for a domain, so my advice is to stay away from it. Those so-called premium domains are just sellers bargaining with you, they aint that premium after all. There’s no absolute correlation between a premium domain name and increase in traffic. Of course you can change your domain name to a better one, but theres no need to be a ‘premium’ domain name. You can improve search engine ranking with a cheap domain name that costs $10-20 a year too.


Well seemingly having concluded it’s OK to drop the “the” what about the other elephant in the room: hyphenation “GoldenDragon” or Golden-dragon. In the early days of web I tended towards hyphens for clarity as I doubted search engines ability to separate words in the right place (example who-represents vs whore-presents) and I assume key phrase in domain name is a strong positive SEO indicator. But now I guess the crawlers will get hints on how to interpret multi-word un-hyphenated names from matching them with phrase hits elsewhere in the web page. (However it does leave human readers with the task of disambiguation so in that case who-represents is probably worthwhile).

Many years ago a customer of mine was mystified to find he was getting a lot of web traffic from the search phrase “beautiful black man”. On investigation the web page said “this historic country inn, set in the beautiful old village of…”, I don’t recall the name of the pub but something like “The Green Man” which was used as domain name and the menu included “Black pudding”. It was probably AltaVista that managed to interpret those disparate words as being a good response to the search phrase. I understand the search gives rather different results these days.

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