Further to this question we have two very descriptive domains like dog-toys.ie and dogtoys.ie and have decided we will now make one of them canonical, with HTTPS, and do a 302 from the other domain.

My question is which one to use as canon? Note, this topic seems to have been covered here before, but it seems people are asking what to register. We have have both domains registered and in use since 1999 with the dashed version parked on the non dashed one.

Doing a site:dog-toys.ie in Google (4 times to cover both and www and no www for both domains) are all similar between 1,660 and 1,900 URLs indexed.

In Google Analytics, here are the comparative sessions over a recent period:

www.dogtoys.ie  183,410
www.dog-toys.ie 27,635
dogtoys.ie  8,403
dog-toys.ie 872

This may strongly suggest to go with www.dogtoys.ie, but I feel this may be skewed as if you land on dog-toys.ie, most of the links you click in will lead to www.dogtoys.ie

So, to summarize, of the two already registered domains, which if any, will be better for a search for Dog Toys?

  • This is primarily subjective. Use whichever you feel would be best for your needs. As it is, this question is asking for an opinion. A domain name with or without a hyphen does not matter. Either has the potential to perform well. Pick one.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 19, 2018 at 16:45
  • I'm not sure it matters for SEO these days. Google doesn't seem to put much weight on the keywords in the domain name itself. It is going to come down to a matter of which users prefer. The hyphen makes it easier to read but hyphenated domain names are longer, harder to type, and often associated with low quality sites. Here is a related article: affiliatemarketertraining.com/domain-name-rankings Jan 19, 2018 at 16:58