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Keyword Rich Domain Name Masking


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#1 KemoSabe

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:43 PM

I have a primary keyword domain name (with very high 'exact' search results and a low search density) that I want to use for hosting a website but it is less memorable to a human because of having a dash and being a .net extension. I want to use another domain name that is a lot more memorable to the human brain and want to (...I hate to use this term but) "mask" over the real site domain name. Additionally, I want the memorable domain to carry the "long tail extensions' so-as not to LOOK like a masked site.

Yes, I am aware of the negative ramification of masking and perceived duplication risk. I would like to hear some discussions on positive ways that this might actually be achieved, whether through the use of 'do not follow' tags or other mechanisms.

[memorabledomain.com ...to be visible while... >effective-keyworddomain.net host the actual site]

Thoughts...?

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 03:49 AM

So you are expecting the  keyword domain[/hr] to have some magical properties for search while being invisible to SEs.

#3 KemoSabe

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 09:45 AM

No Chris, sort of the contrary. I simply want the keyword domain to be view by the search engines in entirety and the easy to remember domain to be viewed by the user. Don't really want or at least care if the engines see the frontend name as long as it doesn't penalize the site in any way.



QUOTE(chrishirst @ Jun 20 2010, 04:49 AM) View Post
So you are expecting the  keyword domain[/hr] to have some magical properties for search while being invisible to SEs.



#4 qwerty

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 10:50 AM

I suppose you could set up 302s from the keyworded domain to the memorable one. The search engines would continue to credit the content and the links to the keyword domain, and users would see that domain in the SERPs, but the users would end up on the memorable domain, and that would be the one they could remember, bookmark, and tell others about. However, any links to the memorable domain would be credited there, so you'd run the risk of splitting up the PR between the two.

I'm not a big believer in the benefits of keywords in the domain name. I think keywords in the URL help a bit, and if they're in the domain name they're obviously in the URL, but I don't see any reason to believe that having keywords in that part of the URL helps more than having them elsewhere in the URL.

I was at a meetup a few weeks ago, and the speaker spent some time discussing "exact match" domains. What he had to say seemed a bit illogical to me, but as I've never built an MFA site I was in no position to argue with him. He said that hyphens in the domain name don't work (even though they do work in folder and file names) and that exact match only worked well on .com sites.

So if he's right (and if I'm accurately remembering this discussion that didn't particularly interest me), effective-keyworddomain.net wouldn't work as an exact match domain, whereas effectivekeyworddomain.com would.

Personally, I think you'd be happier in the long run just using the memorable domain name. If you go with the domain with the keywords in it and it ever ranks well, you'll likely attribute it to the domain name. If that domain ever drops in the SERPs, you're going to be pulling out your hair wondering if the engines had suddenly decided that this sort of thing was spammy and you were being penalized.

#5 KemoSabe

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:17 PM

Bob,

Thanks for the good feedback, especially on the 302. That is exactly what I want to do in terms of building the link juice to the memorable domain. My though was exactly the same but I think I wanted to hear someone else say it. :-)

Not sure that I can agree much with the speaker that you heard. He is correct about the .com extension but .net and .org DOES have similar value base on content relevancy (at least in my opinion). I started out over 10 years ago in the domain industry. I would never buy domains with dashes in them. I purchase domains to delevope into revenue sites, not (necessarily) to resell. I have done a LOT of research with 'search' on keyword terminology and have a fairly strict criteria based on (what we think are)todays algorithms. I have many site for keyword/keyword phrases that will have pushed a page one placement in 60 days or less and many of them DO have dashes.

Certainly as you point out, page names and directories should be named for the main keyword of that page/category. Engines are looking for relevancy. As complex as any algorithm may be, it only makes choices by what it 'reads'. Given two new sites with the same exact content (for example purposes only), one as keyword-name.com and one as unrelatedname.com and both with the same SEO, the keyword-name.com (from split test) have shown to rank higher, faster.

EXAMPLE KEYWORD PHRASE: [beach ball]

Try this broad search in Google: [beach balls] returns 2,900,000 and [beach balls] returns 2,680,000 results (almost the same).
Now this "exact" search in Google: ["beachballs"] same at 2,900,000 and ["beach balls"] only 448,000 results (1/5th the competition).Now do this "exact" search in Google: ["beach balls"] w/o hyphen= 448,000 and ["beach-balls"] with 448,000, the same results. The search algorithm see's the hypen as a 'space'. Google Adwords reveals that: 'exact' searches for "beachballs" is 2,400/month and "beach balls" is 14,800/month.

Certainly not saying that I would not want to have the domain beachballs.com. What I am saying is that I see the same (or more) 'relevance' in the domain with a hyphen. (unfortunately for this example beach-balls.com is a harvest site and not optimized at all.

Anyhow, didn't mean to run on... VERY much appreciate you feedback.

Best,

Kemo (BobLee)

#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:55 PM

Whoever says hyphens in domain names don't work has no idea of what they are talking about. I have built up MANY hyphenated domain names to outrank their competitors.

#7 KemoSabe

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Jun 23 2010, 01:55 PM) View Post
Whoever says hyphens in domain names don't work has no idea of what they are talking about. I have built up MANY hyphenated domain names to outrank their competitors.


appl.gif

#8 qwerty

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:30 PM

Just to clarify, he was speaking specifically about domain names for the supposed "exact match" boost in rankings. He wasn't making any claims about it being a waste of time to try to optimize a site with hyphens (or without any keywords, for that matter) in the domain name. He was just saying that a .com domain made up of an exact keyword phrase without hyphens had an advantage for that exact search (and for that exact search only).

Whether he was right or wrong isn't particularly important to me, because I'm not interested in creating sites based on perceived interest in a single keyword phrase, but I don't want anyone thinking I'm saying he was making any claims beyond that one.

#9 WSO

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:25 PM

I've always felt a domain that includes the prime keyword has an advantage, if for no other reason that in many cases, we have no control over how another site lists ours when linking to us. In many cases, they just list the url, so if the url has the primary keyword(s) in it, those terms are then part of the anchor text. Historically, I've had an easier time optimizing sites that are keyword rich (although I certainly wouldn't stuff the domain with many keywords!).

In many cases, though, there is indeed a negative aspect to a keyword domain, if it is difficult to remember or type in correctly. Search is just one facet of a well-rounded marketing plan, and if people can't remember the url when they see it in print, or hear about it from a friend, or can't remember that there are dashes in it, then you are losing traffic for sure.

I've had situations where we have a keyword domain and a more "memorable" domain. We've treated the keyword domain as the true site, and always use it when trying to build links. But in offline advertising, we use the more memorable domain. When working with the press, we tend to use the keyword domain in hopes that they'll include an active link in the online version of their articles. We want all of our inbound links going to the same domain so that we get full credit for them.

Are we off base on any of that?

Tom


#10 KemoSabe

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 03:05 PM

Tom, you're exactly on target. When you have a single site and your marketing plan needs BOTH search AND type in traffic, you have to look at the domain and or arrangement of how you use multiple domains to accomplish what you need. We do a lot of affiliate marketing where we have zero type-in traffic and are 100% search oriented. So, as you would imagine, a keyword rich domain name WITH hyphens can work very well in its entirely.

At the start of this string I was addressing thoughts about how to use both and not be penalized by Google for duplicated copy and via using a masked redirect (of sort). [The site would reside and be optimized via the keyword-domain.com and the memorabledomain.com name would point to and mask the kw-d.com site with memorabledomain.com in the addressbar.]

QUOTE(WSO @ Jun 23 2010, 03:25 PM) View Post
Are we off base on any of that?

Tom


Anyhow yes, your thinking in my book is very clear. The trade-off on this is as"qwerty" pointed out that you would be splitting the link building(and PageRank) amoung both sites. I actually believe the page rank would actually build to the memorable site most often and more rapidly because that is what "real people" are seeing and will remember.

In this particular case my keyword domain name has over 300,000 EXACT searched a month. Having that traffic would be a great kick start, to making the memorable domain commonplace.

Best,

KemoSabe whitehat.gif

#11 Michael Martinez

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 04:42 PM

QUOTE(KemoSabe @ Jun 23 2010, 01:05 PM) View Post
In this particular case my keyword domain name has over 300,000 EXACT searched a month. Having that traffic would be a great kick start, to making the memorable domain commonplace.


You would have to control all the listings in the SERP to get that 300,000 figure -- and there is no way of knowing how much of the traffic is generated by rank-checking robots.

Although using keyword-matching domains is common there is no algorithmic advantage to using them. To a search engine, example.com/keyword-phrase is just as relevant as keyword-phrase.com and search engineers have stated this many, many times.

Keywords in the URL are just one example of the 200+ factors taken into account.

If you really want to see proof that domain names don't matter, just search for "shoes.net", "boats.net", "cars.net", "shoes.org", "boats.org", and "cars.org" in the SERPs for "shoes", "boats", and "cars".

When sites like stevemadden.com, imdb.com, and searay.com outrank exact-match domains time and time again in highly competitive queries, I have to ask about the sanity and competence of people who swear by exact-match domains. Steve Madden, Amazon, and SeaRay are all doing it wrong. Alert the search engines to improve their SERPs immediately!


#12 WSO

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 05:02 PM

I hope I wasn't implying that you'll fail if you don't have a keyword-rich domain, Michael. I was just pointing out one possible advantage they offer. As you say, there may be no "algorithmic advantage", there do appear to be some "non algorithmic" advantages that MIGHT provide an opportunity for some sites. As you say, there are 200+ factors, so to say that anyone is saying that imdb and the likes are doing it "wrong" is no different than someone saying using weather.com as an example and saying that that proves a keyword domain is critical.

Different sites, in different industries, with different budgets, and different goals, and different sets of resources, all have to utilize some differences in their approach, not only to SEM, but to marketing in general.

#13 torka

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:00 AM

QUOTE(KemoSabe @ Jun 23 2010, 04:05 PM) View Post
At the start of this string I was addressing thoughts about how to use both and not be penalized by Google for duplicated copy

Only... there's no such thing as a duplicate content penalty. smile.gif

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#14 KemoSabe

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:40 AM

So out of curiocity Mike and seriously... are you telling me that KeywordPhrase.com/keyword would have no more relevance than example.com/keyword? That's what I'm understanding you to say, is that right?


QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Jun 23 2010, 05:42 PM) View Post
You would have to control all the listings in the SERP to get that 300,000 figure -- and there is no way of knowing how much of the traffic is generated by rank-checking robots.

Although using keyword-matching domains is common there is no algorithmic advantage to using them. To a search engine, example.com/keyword-phrase is just as relevant as keyword-phrase.com and search engineers have stated this many, many times.

Keywords in the URL are just one example of the 200+ factors taken into account. [b]REALLY? [/b unsure.gif Just teasing!
If you really want to see proof that domain names don't matter, just search for "shoes.net", "boats.net", "cars.net", "shoes.org", "boats.org", and "cars.org" in the SERPs for "shoes", "boats", and "cars".

When sites like stevemadden.com, imdb.com, and searay.com outrank exact-match domains time and time again in highly competitive queries, I have to ask about the sanity and competence of people who swear by exact-match domains. Steve Madden, Amazon, and SeaRay are all doing it wrong. Alert the search engines to improve their SERPs immediately!


But either way, Let alert the SERPs immediately... I loved that! appl.gif

QUOTE(WSO @ Jun 23 2010, 06:02 PM) View Post
I hope I wasn't implying that you'll fail if you don't have a keyword-rich domain, Michael. I was just pointing out one possible advantage they offer. As you say, there may be no "algorithmic advantage", there do appear to be some "non algorithmic" advantages that MIGHT provide an opportunity for some sites. As you say, there are 200+ factors, so to say that anyone is saying that imdb and the likes are doing it "wrong" is no different than someone saying using weather.com as an example and saying that that proves a keyword domain is critical.

Different sites, in different industries, with different budgets, and different goals, and different sets of resources, all have to utilize some differences in their approach, not only to SEM, but to marketing in general.



Well said Tom... appl.gif I am now very hopeful that my site is going to do really, really well now that I'm in the company of Steve Madden and Amazon... But if I could only take the big G on... hmmm... (Just teasing Michael!!!)


QUOTE(torka @ Jun 24 2010, 01:00 AM) View Post
Only... there's no such thing as a duplicate content penalty. smile.gif

--Torka mf_prop.gif


Hi Torka,

Technically, you are absolutely correct. It was perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. Be that as it may, in my book the result is still the same. A situation of duplicate content leads to PageRank dilution. One definitive version of the product page will receive more PageRank than five versions will receive. That's because the votes (links) are split five ways. The end result is that product with duplicate content will never rank as well in Google's search engine as a unique page.

Technically under Google documentation, this is not a penalty, merely the natural consequence of an overlooked problem. Let's just call it a poor decision to maximize every opportunity to acheive PR.

...Kemo flowers.gif




#15 Jill

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:41 AM

QUOTE
So out of curiocity Mike and seriously... are you telling me that KeywordPhrase.com/keyword would have no more relevance than example.com/keyword? That's what I'm understanding you to say, is that right?


I'm not Mike, but I would agree with that statement, yes.




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