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THE CURRENT VERSION IS SEY 2003


Domains Names In SEO
by André le Roux
Dec. 2002

NOTE: For an updated look at the importance of domain names in SEO, please refer to the current version of the Search Engine Yearbook.

Yes, as far as is practical, your domain names should contain your top keywords.

BUT

There are many factors besides SEO factors that determine a good domain name. Having your most important keywords in your domain helps in terms of SEO, but having a very long domain like www.I-have-keywords-in-my-domain-hahaha.com is just not worth it.

A good domain is:
· short,
· easy to say and spell,
· descriptive,
· memorable,
· distinctive, and
· keyword-rich.

You should be able to say your domain name over the telephone once and the other person should know how to spell it and they should know what you sell. If you can do that AND work keywords in there, good for you. If you can’t, skip the keywords.

Note:
There are SEO experts that maintain that you don't need keywords in your domain. I've done a little research on this and from that, it seems that it does make a difference – especially at Google. I've also asked this question in a discussion forum and the consensus was that keyword-rich domain names are nice-to-haves rather than must-haves. You should not mess up your domain over keywords.

Another question that often comes up in the context of domains and SEO is that of multiple domains.

It depends on what you'll use those extra domains for. If each domain has only a couple of pages pointing to your "main" site, it's not worth having. That could actually hurt your link popularity. If each domain houses a big, properly planned and regularly updated web site, each with incoming links, then it could boost your link popularity.

Never duplicate a site (or even individual pages) across different domains. That is considered spam and could get both offending domains dropped. The choice is yours. If you have the resources to build a number of quality sites and maintain them all, your multiple domains will pull more traffic. If you're not sure whether or not to go with multiple domains, start small and add domains along the way.

Search Engine Book: Search Engine Year BookThis page is based on information contained in the Search Engine Yearbook 2003. For more detailed search engine information & help, please refer to the current version of the book.

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