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Is it better to put hyphens in a domain name?

QUESTION: What would work better for a two word search string as "green shoes"?

Acquiring the domain greenshoes.com OR domain green-shoes.com? Or another?

Any other tips on how to score high with two word searches

Help appreciated!


2 Answers 2


Sadly, exact-match domains still have an unwarranted ranking weighting applied. Hypenated domains are for those who missed out on the non-hypenated versions, so if you have the opportunity, then get the non-hyphenated one.

Besides the domain (and on-page factors like page titles, content etc), it will be natural back-links that contain that phrase (or related) to your site that works best - hence Adobe Acrobat Reader ranking #1 for 'click here' (since every link has that anchor phrase).

  • and with natural back-links you mean other sites that link to you (not on your own site)
    – snh_nl
    Feb 7, 2012 at 13:14

Get them both and set your dns/web server up so they both point to the same website.

But to be honest, SEO goes way beyond just the url name and I would question just how much the URL actually is counted in the algorithm. Things like page titles, headings, links to your site(s), meta tags and quite a few other factors are part of the equation.

  • Would you use a domain pointer? But also I have come to realize that request URL's or pages (after the domain) are lost when using pointers ....greenshoes.com/specials would then result in theshoeshop.com (withour request params) So, what would be the best method for SEO and google liking and crawling this?
    – snh_nl
    Feb 7, 2012 at 13:13

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