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I need a counsel about my websites' domain.

Let's say I have just bought two domains: xyz.com and xyzphotography.com.

As we can see, the first one is shorter but way less meaningful than the second one. The second one contains a photography keyword but it's longer.

I have only one website which is my photography portfolio. Can you advise me how to set those domains to make it all as SEO-friendly as possible? Which one should be the main one, does the rest should work on their own or have some kind of SEO-friendly redirect to the main domain?

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8 Answers 8

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I agree with John. Keywords in the domains could help a little and mainly in niche sectors. Remember, what is very important is the quality of your content and your popularity on the Internet. In this case I would choose xyzphotography.com as it is not a dramatically long name and it is also descriptive.

Very important to remember: you should avoid choosing a long domain name with many "-" such as xyz-photograpy-central-london.co.uk as this kind of domain was historically used for spam purposes and could raise flags with the search engines.

IN addition, the extension of the domain is very important. Let's imagine you want to have better visibility in UK (maybe you have a studio there) so a domain with the tld .co.uk could be more appropriate and you get better visibility on local search engines (for example: google.co.uk) instead of the .com version.

Also, the period of registration for a domain is important too. If you buy a domain, register it for a longer periods.. let's say 3 years. This would be better for SEO. It shows that you are willing to use the domain for legitimate use and not for spammy proposes.

Hope I helped you

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what about a domain with just one dash? Is that ok too? –  Yannis Dran Jan 29 at 20:19

Redirecting the longer name to the shorter name will not help your SEO. So if SEO is your highest priority then use the longer domain name. If branding is more important then use the shorter name. One way to decide which to use comes down to competition. Are the keywords you are targeting very competitive or not? If so, use the longer domain name to help your rankings along. If not use the shorter one since ranking well for your keywords will not be too difficult.

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thank you very much for your help! :) too bad that i can't 'accept' more than two answers –  bajki Oct 9 '11 at 12:07

pick the one with the keyword in it or even better an exact match domain that becomes your brand. My research points to these being 90% easier to rank than other domains (just check the backlinks of exact match domains in the top 10 results of any keyword)

you can always print your business cards with your brandy non keyword domain and use a brandy non keyword email address if you want to

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Set up xyzphotography.com as a blog, possibly at tumblr.com or wordpress.com (to have another IP address). Use xyz.com as your company's main website.

Like this, your blog is likely to rank better for "photography", it will attract potential customers. And from your blog you link a lot to xyz.com.

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In case for SEO purpose your main keyword must be in your domain for getting fast ranking in SERP. But try it not so long.

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Besides SEO considerations you may also want to think about classical printed advertising, be it in a magazine, billboard or on your car.

I think a more descriptive (thus longer) domain name helps here to reach the intended target audience and is probably more memorable. (At least as long as your brand is not commonly known).

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Well, i would say go for the shorter and and the unique name. There are number of factors why i am saying these words:

1 - According to SEO point of view to keep keyword in the domain name can cause penalty under EMD update.

2 - Short names can be remember easily also they seems more attractive.

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Bing have just recently written about how little importance the keywords have in a domain name. The gist is that good content and a memorable domain name are going to be more valuable to your business.

Google's Matt Cutts has also done a Google Webmaster Help video about this exact subject. He tends to lean more to brandable domain names that will easily be remembered.

A shorter domain name is not just more memorable, it's also easier to type it out, show on Twitter, or print on packaging/flyers/advertising.

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