What are the differences in terms of SEO? Do search engines treat these differently in any way?
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
What are the differences in terms of SEO?
Shortening a domain name by just a few characters has no SEO benefit.
Do search engines treat these differently in any way?
This really depends on what your brand name is:
damnlr. If your brand name becomes well-known, then search engines might associate your brand name as a keyword, as they now do with popular sites like Amazon and Twitter. Prior to their popularization on the Internet, searching on those terms would have returned different results.
Shortening a brand name would be unwise because users would have difficulty remembering and typing your domain into browsers. That would of course lead to less traffic, and less probability of search engines eventually recognizing it as a brand name.
If on the other hand the shortened version is a common misspelling of the brand name, then it might be wise to register it as well and redirect it to the correctly spelled one. Unless the brand name became a very popular search term, search engines would not suggest other differently spelled versions of it in their results, so doing so would ensure those common misspellings don't result in lost traffic.