As in the title. Suppose I'm selling magical fruit and my customers often Google 'what fruit should I buy?' I'd like to capitalize on this with an appropriate domain name, but should it be whatmagicalfruitshouldibuy.com or what-magical-fruit-should-i-buy.com.

Is there any difference in terms of search/indexing? Would Google be able to parse the first into the individual words/phrase?

Assume all else is equal, e.g. that I don't expect anyone to ever type it into their address bar.

  • Would Google be able to parse the first into the individual words/phrase? Yes. Absolutely.
    – closetnoc
    Jun 30 '18 at 1:23

Although your domain name should include your main keywords, it should not use dashes. At least that's what I read everywhere.

Also, in term of the example you give here, you probably shouldn't use the word "buy". Most people have used things like bestmagicalfruits.com or magicalfruitreviews.com, which is less like "Hey, I'm going to sell you magical fruits no matter what."

But I think that in your case the best would be magicalfruits.com (and stick to a .com). Of course, the simplest domain name is not unlikely already taken. Another way I've seen people handle that problem is to add your name. So something like magicalfruitsbyalex.com.

Now, will Google know? I think they don't really care that much, but it is not unlikely that they search the domain name for words that look like keywords in your website. So if you often talk about Magic(al) and Fruit(s), then these words will be search in your domain and if present, they probably get a slightly better rank value. From what I've read, there is an effect from the domain name, but I think it is small.

At the same time, there are websites such as moz.com that have a name that has nothing to do with their keywords (maybe because it's an abbreviation) and they still have high page ranking. The main reason for high page ranking is good content, that is, content that's useful to your reader, opposed to a bare site which tells you buy this, buy that... Of course, some websites are just about selling (pure e-Commerce) and for such, you really don't need to worry too much about your domain name. It won't matter because SEO is not going to be what you're going to use to make sales. Instead you'll use advertising (Facebook, AdWord, Instagram, and build a mailing list...).

So my main take aways:

  • Use a generic name
  • Don't include any dashes
  • Make sure to stick to a .com
  • Write useful content (which is where real SEO is found.)
  • Google does evaluate the domain name semantically, however, there is no boost for search as the OP seems to be seeking. It is a clue more than a factor these days. There is no such thing as exact match domains for a good reason. However, if the site is indeed about magical fruit, then it can be a small, very small factor under some limited conditions. BTW- Pages rank - not keywords. Cheers mate!!
    – closetnoc
    Jun 29 '18 at 22:36
  • Shorter URLs tend to rank better than longer URLs source
  • Google can recognize keywords in domain even without hyphens.
  • It's not recommended to use hyphens in domain name. It correlates to spammy behavior and decreases domain name readability and memorability. source
  • Having keyword in domain name is still beneficial, but it's not recommended to over optimize the domain name like in your example with many words. source
  • .com is best choice. source

In summary it's most recommended to keep the domain name short, brandable, memorable and intuitive with broad keyword usage. source

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