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I am in the process of choosing a domain name for a personal project. I have found a very good one (let's say it is "myproject.com") but it is very close to another existing domain name ("smyproject.com"). Only the first letter is different. This website has a very different activity from mine.

My question is: is it bad for SEO? When someone will type "myproject" in a search engine, is there a risk that the first result will be "smyproject.com" if this website has better SEO than mine?

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Generally, I would answer your question with a resounding NO. However, you used in your example a search for the domain name and that can change things only slightly.

I am going to assume for a minute that web branding is involved. In that case, there could be confusion. For example, if someone searched for a known and established brand, let's say Coke Cola, then domain names cokecola.com and ecokecola.com could show up. But that is the extent of it. You have to make sure that you are not infringing upon a copyright. Otherwise, booksforsale.com and ebooksforsale.com will not fall into that category.

If you are not infringing on copyright, there may be some confusion over which site is which. And that can be an issue.

If you are sure that you are not dealing with either situation, and each domain name can stand upon it's own, then I would not worry about it. There should be no cross-contamination in performance.

  • Thanks for your answer! I've already made sure that there would not be any copyright issue. The existing website's activity is not in the same category than what I plan to launch. – qqfr2507 Jun 5 '14 at 16:44
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Yes, It will. Generally getting a domain name similar to an existing domain name looks harmless . But when you consider SEO perspective, it will affect search queries those based on the keyword included in your domain name. If the existing domain is on, same or similar niche that your website is about, you may have to work much harder to get keywords.

But in your case, you specified, both the websites are on different niche. Then choosing a similar domain name won't affect your website in any SEO perspective.

  • That makes sense, but in my case the existing domain has not the same activity that my website. So is that still a problem? – qqfr2507 Jun 5 '14 at 16:42
  • This only makes sense if the domain name is something that would be searched for and is a branded site. Otherwise, it would have no effect. For an extreme example, fhidop.com and sfhidop.com would perform completely on their own. No overlap. – closetnoc Jun 5 '14 at 17:27

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