Don't Bother Using Hyphens In Your Domain Names
Hyphenated or dashed domains have long been the favourite of Internet and affiliate marketers. Why? Simply because it allowed them to pack the domain full of the primary keywords for their market. When this all began it was used responsibly by sensible marketers. They saw the benefit of including maybe one keyword in their domain. The search engines didn't complain and everyone was basically happy.
Then the spammers got hold of it and have now abused it to such an extent that search engines like Google and Yahoo are now beginning to filter hyphenated domains from their search results. This is a case of cause and effect but the funny thing now is that the search engine spammers are whining because of this yet they caused the exact problem they're now complaining about. The irony eh?
Problems With Hypens
Search engines change. They change their algorithms and with these changes some websites can simply disappear from search engine results altogether. And change they did. March 2006 saw Google implement something called BigDaddy which immediately dumped 95%+ of hyphenated domains from their primary search index.
Why did they do this? Google hate people manipulating their search results. Anything deemed to be search manipulation will result in your domain being penalized. Google run a business and like any business they want to stay in control of how their customers see them. Having search results filled with www.best-credit-card-options-online-guides.com doesn't look good. It makes their search results appear very cluttered and clumsy looking to say the least. The vast majority of these hyphenated domains were filled with keyword stuffed pages of garbage anyways so there's been no real loss to the online world as whole.
Were all hyphenated domains dropped? Of course not. Some stayed in the search index especially those with just a single dash in the domain name itself. That being said the day will come when dashed domain names will probably be moved to Googles secondary or supplemental search index. This effectively means that your domain would be dead in terms of search engine traffic.
The tide has turned. The online world is changing. Maybe it's time for you to change too?
There are plenty of great .com, .net, .org and .info domains left unregistered. There are as many great .coms for sale too - true you might pay a little more but at least you'll be getting a domain that you'll want to keep forever.
The days of the disposable dashed domain names are over. It's time to shorten your domains down and work on branding. Essentially it's time to take your business seriously.... you do want to take your business seriously don't you?