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Google expert advises on hyphenated domain names

"Expert Advice"
“Expert Advice”

Renowned Google SEO specialist, John Mueller, recently addressed hyphenated domain names. A topic raised by a Reddit user curious about the sparse use and potential issues of hyphenated domains. Mueller clarified that there were no significant SEO problems associated with these domains. Noting that while Google’s systems handle them effectively, people might find them harder to remember or type, affecting user experience.

Further, Mueller emphasized user-friendliness along with SEO factors when selecting domain names. His advice, historically significant due to the early bias against domains with multiple hyphens, seen as less professional. This perception has evolved, and now even prominent companies use hyphenated domain names frequently, for readability or necessity.

With the advent of top-level domains, the traditional viewpoint shifted. The growing diversity of top-level domains has made it easier to create unique digital identities and manage digital space effectively.

Insights on hyphenated domain names from Google

The ‘.com’ domain, while once dominant, has seen a slight decrease in importance. But the need for a strong, easily identifiable online domain remains, regardless of the top-level domain chosen.

Mueller further cautioned against over-reliance on keywords in domain names. Instead, he recommended a versatile domain name, focusing on branding rather than meticulous keyword use. The rationale is that search engine algorithms rank webpages on many factors, not just the domain name. So site owners should think of brand building and generating relevant content, rather than limiting their potential with a keyword-centric approach.

In his final remarks, Mueller expressed his disapproval of creating “cumbersome, keyword-centric, short-term, low-effort” websites solely targeting SEO scores. He endorsed focusing on generating unique, high-quality content that encourages users to search for the website by name. Regardless of the use of hyphens, Mueller’s stand was clear – evolving, quality content over keyword inclusion.

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