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Let's say we got a domain xmastown.com. If we only look at a domain, we'll think it's related to Christmas, but how about if the site if for building websites and apps?

Is it fine? Is it good? Will I mis-guide users and search engine crawling robot? Will I lose some points on search ranking if the content in the site isn't related to the domain?

  • From a purely pragmatic perspective, it is not wise to have a misleading domain name. From a search engine perspective, it would work well enough, but not recommended because it is not pragmatic. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 30 '17 at 17:07
  • @closetnoc how about if there is a subtopic that is off-topic, for example, we do some project related to Christmas and we have christmastown.com, BUT we got an application that is for helping you make some mobile app which was route in christmastown.com/app-maker is it fine? We tell the user it's app-maker in the path but the app maker isn't really for making Christmas related app. Is it OK? – Andrew.Wolphoe Dec 1 '17 at 11:17
  • It is always best to stay on topic. Search engines use semantic topic analysis to score each page and the site overall. If you go off topic, you dilute search engine performance. If off topic too much, then the site will be seen as manipulative and suffer in it's trust score. – closetnoc Dec 1 '17 at 16:30
  • @closetnoc so I should better have the structure appmaker.com for app making application and appmaker.com/app-series/christmas/2017 for Christmas related project right? – Andrew.Wolphoe Dec 2 '17 at 1:12
  • That is up to you. I have no idea. Cheers!! – closetnoc Dec 2 '17 at 3:26
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It is better to have a brandable name. A brand name should:

  • Be unique. It should differentiate you from other similar sites. If somebody types it in a search engine, it should only have a meaning of "you".
  • Be memorable. It shouldn't be too long or complex. It shouldn't be too similar to your competitors.
  • Be easy to spell and pronounce. It shouldn't have alternate spellings or pronunciations.
  • Have positive connotations. When somebody first hears the name it shouldn't bring to mind something bad. It should bring to mind something positive.
  • Shouldn't limit you. Saying what you do or where you are located in your brand is common, but it prevents you from expanding to other services or areas.

From an SEO perspective, Google doesn't give much weight to the words in the domain name anymore. It used to be that having a site like bluewidgets.tld that sold blue widgets would get search engine rankings. That isn't the case today. A great brand like Amazon could put up pages for their blue widgets and be able to rank for them easily.

I wouldn't use either of your strategies:

  • xmastown is a poor brand name because it limits you to Christmas related products and services. You could try to do other things with it but it would be an uphill battle with consumers that don't expect it.
  • app-maker is a poor brand name because it isn't memorable and would be very similar to every other company that makes apps. It also limits you to only making apps.

I much prefer choosing a brand name on a made up word, or a mutation or appropriation of a positive word.

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