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Domain Name Choice

Choosing a good domain name (Tip 13)

One of the most significant ways to boost a site's ranking on search engines is to choose an appropriate domain name.

It's tempting to choose a name for marketing reasons that may reflect an image of the product or service but in the boring world of Search Engine ranking, this cuts no ice. There was a phase when companies chose wacky names for their web sites, names like pink albatross and curved mouse were considered to be memorable and easy to spell so that people would have no difficulty typing them in when they got to a computer.

Now that most people get to web sites from search engines and no longer type them in, a memorable name is no longer a huge asset. As far as search engines are concerned any keywords embedded in the domain name are good indicators of the theme of a web site and it will receive a high weighting compared to web sites with an unrelated domain name.

To achieve a good ranking for a page, one of the most important criteria will be whether a keyword is included in the domain name itself. If you are selling a product that you want people to find using the keyword/keyphrase pet auto feeder then the domain name petautofeeder.com is the one to choose. Or if you are selling umbrellas, a domain name of umbrellastore is of much more value than splashdash. If you want, you can still use a wacky domain name for a separate 'mirror' site with the same content but its unlikely to achieve as high a ranking as the the domain with a relevant name.

Web site monitoring

Site Vigil's listing of competitor web sites for any keyword will show you how important a domain name can be. However, search engines will now make sure that the domain name is echoed in the page contents so it is not easy to cheat the system by choosing domain names with popular keywords to promote an unrelated product or service.