The business I work has a fairly long, 4 word name. The domain they've been using is the first letter of the first three words, and then the last word spelled out. For now we'll refer to it as "The Ant Farm Society" or "TAFSociety.com".

I've been SEO'ing their site and doing a good job at it, and I'll probably feel the affects of what I've done in a few weeks. However as of now, they don't show up on the first page of google for "The Ant Farm Society". I recently found out that The-Ant-Farm-Society.com is available. Would it be beneficial or detrimental for me to use that domain? My thoughts were to use a nice design, put around 10 related articles on there, and have it ultimately link to their main site, "TAFSociety.com".

Is it wise to do this? Or should I just focus on bringing up their abbreviated domain name? Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • A couple of previous questions were similar - webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/4618/… and webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/3777/… – Mike Hudson Apr 26 '11 at 22:40
  • I had read those, but felt my issue was slightly different, and my approach was different as well. My idea was to use the keyword version of the domain to have a website with completely unique content, that has hyperlinks to the main website, ultimately. So it may show up higher on the search engines, but people will still be able to find my business. – Kevin Apr 26 '11 at 22:45
  • bear in mind with this approach that you could end up cannibalizing traffic from your main domain... – Mike Hudson Apr 27 '11 at 2:21

Keywords in the domain - while helpful, aren't the be-all and end-all that a lot of people make out, in fact there's probably more examples of where it's not a factor than the opposite. Keyworded domains are also expected to come under closer scrutiny from Google in the near future (as mentioned by Matt Cutts).

The solution you are proposing (setting up the keyword domain website) might sound good on the surface, but it does require that your new domain get authority in the eyes of the search engines before those links end up gaining any value - so you'd be better off putting effort into getting links to your main domain with the keywords "Ant Farm Society" in the first place (ye olde link building).

  • Thanks Mike. This post was helpful. However, I had already advised my boss to purchase the keyword version of the domain, which he did for 5 years. Now we're stuck with this domain. Is it still worth it to focus on the original domain, and leave this one alone? – Kevin Apr 26 '11 at 22:42
  • Well, i'm certainly not going to tell you to abandon it - you could try your method to see if it works (nothing really to loose), and if it doesn't (or you don't want to try), then simply have it 301 redirected/pointing to your main domain (it could always be used for marketing purposes in the future). – Mike Hudson Apr 27 '11 at 2:20

Domains like the one to which you allude, with four words separated by three dashes, look trashy. Everyone will be able to see what you're trying to do, even the people who don't know anything about SEO and don't even know that SEO exists or is possible. Everyone knows that spammers do that with their domains.

What you're describing sounds like a waste of money. You already have a relevant domain. You should work on turning that into a brand. I might change my mind if I knew the exact actual domains in question.

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