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My domain name has a hyphen in it (i.e. http://word1-word2.com).

  • When google searching "word1word2", the site shows up as the 5th overall search result.
  • When searching "word1 word2", the site doesn't show up in any of the 1st 10 pages.
  • On Bing, when searching "word1 word2", the site shows up as #1.

Is there a reason for this behavior and a way to fix this problem?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

By introducing a space between the two words you have turned the search from using one keyword to two keywords. This opens up a lot more possibilities to match those results. According to Google there are a bunch of pages that are relevant to some combination of those keys more so than yours.

If you wish to rank better for those two separate keywords in that order you should do all of the usual SEO things for them (i.e. use them together on your pages, use them together in your internal links, etc).

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Bing seems to favor keywords in the domain more than Google in 2013. This may change.

Depending on the competitiveness of "word1" and "word2" it may be quite difficult to show up in Google.

Google and Bing still both primarily rank websites based on the link strength of the site. So build good links, maybe some with those words in the anchor text, and you will start to rank in Google.

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