We have a 6-year-old keywordy 34 letter "EMD" domain name (3 words with hyphens).

We want to switch to a new 35 letter business name domain name (yes our business name is 35 characters without hyphens).

In our industry everyone is keywordy, but I feel google will put less & less emphasis on this in the future & we feel we're better than just relying on keywords & plan to rely on quality content, helpful blog posts from inside the industry & frequent social media use. We recently got our Google My Business page suspended for not using our full business name so it got me thinking.

How do you think this move will affect us assuming that we follow correct procedures on the move?

  • 1
    Exact match domains have little benefit anymore, so building recognition for your business name (ideally as a brand) is probably a wise decision given your focus on providing quality content. As you indicated, it's important to follow all the steps for moving a site, with the expectation of a temporary fluctuation in ranking during the move.
    – dan
    May 5, 2018 at 3:22
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    The whole EMD thing was a horrible mistake by Google and was basically disbanded 5 years ago. Domain names that describe what the site is about is not a bad idea, however, for a business branding is so strong a set of signals that it should be pursued and that includes the domain name. There will be a period where traffic will drop off, however, with the branding signals in place, you should perform better than you ever have in the end. For a business, this is the right and proper thing to do. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    May 5, 2018 at 3:42

1 Answer 1


Consider a couple things:

Your exact match is going to weigh a little higher in search results. This isn't critical though.

How difficult is your name to spell? Can someone that hears it in a conversation spell it when they go to find it later? Will they remember it?

How complicated is the business name? Is this site built for people local to your area? If your business name is known you may gain an advantage here.

Why not use both? If you do add them both in google's webmaster tools and designate one as the primary domain.

My answer in short: If you rely on search engines to get visitors use your hyphenated-name if it's for a local business the business name might be more effective as long as it's not difficult to spell or remmeber. Either way, keep it simple.

  • Having more than one domain name for a site does nothing. Those days are long gone. The domain name matters less these days except in establishing a brand which is the strongest thing anyone can do for their site.
    – closetnoc
    May 5, 2018 at 6:11
  • Adding a second url could easily benefit a company. if you owned a company called "Johns Building Supply" but you have established "best-building-supply.com", adding "JohnsBuildingSupply.com" would benefit the business because local patrons will remember JohnsBuldingSupply.com and may even guess it when seeking their web page. And key-words in a URL can have a minor impact ranking. May 5, 2018 at 8:06
  • @closetnoc, I do agree with you though, building a brand is likely going to be more beneficial. Unless the name of the brand is difficult to remember or spell. If that's the case there may be more than a URL to think about though. May 5, 2018 at 8:10
  • I get your point regarding typing and guessing a domain name, however, for a long time now, people simply search for the domain name. [Insert silly grin] It has become largely true that a memorable domain name is the most important factor. Almost no one types a domain name in the address bar anymore. They simply use their favorite SE to search the domain name as a short cut and click the URL. I have to admit even I do this now. Many just speak it into their phone, tablet, or computer. Or even simply remember the search that leads to the domain name. I do agree with your point though. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    May 5, 2018 at 15:49
  • This answer explains how EMD seems to be adjusted and when and when and where it works. webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/77724/… It is an older answer and closer to my previous research. Thought it could be interesting. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    May 5, 2018 at 16:08

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