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Domain Name Selection for SEO

Jan 12, 2008
he Registration of domain names is a thriving business on the Internet today - this is evident by the high bids that companies are willing to pay in Per-Per-Click (PPC) engines to attract potential customers for domain name registration.

The business of domain name registration is sometimes referred to as 'Internet Real Estate'. Just like we can occupy high traffic areas in the central business districts of major cities in the real world, we can register domains for commonly used words or sought after keywords to generate traffic more easily to our websites. While most common words and abbreviations have already been taken for the most widely used top level domain names, with a little bit of creativity we can still register an endless number of promising domain names.

While there is no clear indication to what extent .com, .net as well as country top level domain names such as .co.uk, .de, .fr and so forth influence search engine rankings of websites, the word is that .org domains are still favored by Google as part of the non-commercial tradition.

However, this article is not looking at how the domain extension influences the ranking of a website as this is thought to be insignificant for search engine rankings. A stronger influence on search engine rankings have indeed the length of registration, frequency of DNS changes as well as the reputation of the registrar.

Even though sometimes overrated in its importance - especially in relationship to its effect on search engine rankings, domain names do remain an important asset for the online corporate identity of your business.

The main consideration concerning your domain name will be to choose between a creative name (such as 'yahoo', 'alibaba', 'kazaa') or a keyword name (such as 'study-tourism' or 'retail-gifts'. In fact using main keywords in your domain name does have a positive effect on your search engine rankings, especially to get your rankings off the ground after launching a new website. Down the road the effect however becomes almost negligible.

While many people tend to register numerous domain names to accommodate most important key words within them, they overlook that Google and other major search engines will pay almost the same attention to sub-domains. So instead of registering 'hawaii-real-estate', 'florida-real-estate' and so forth, we might as well just register 'real-estate' and have sub domains such as 'hawaii.real-estate', 'florida.real-estate' and so forth.

What people further underestimate is that search engines in general look for keywords in the URL (unique resource locator) which comprises of the top level domain, any potential sub-domains and of course the file name. So, if you happen to be using a creative domain name that does not contain any important key words, you can of course include your main keywords in the file name of the webpage itself, i.e. florida-real-estate.html.

Hence, in a nutshell, while domain names are a major asset for your corporate identity, their significance for search engine rankings is overrated, as there are various ways to accommodate significant keywords in the URL and eventually other on-site factors (coding techniques, content) of a website will have a greater impact for search engine rankings.
About the Author
Poyel Nelson enjoys an Internet supported PT lifestyle with Thailand as a base. Learn how to Make Money Online
and ennjoy Yacht Charters in your leisure time.
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