Lesson 8: Hyphens in Domain-Names

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First Published on the 9th of August, 2018 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: April 26, 2021 at 3:47 am

Now that you understand what a domain name is, and how they are formed, let’s examine “hypens in domain names.”

Suppose I wanted to build a website to sell Brazilian products (and I did by the way), which domain name should I create?

A. www.brazilianproducts.com

B. www.brazilian-products.com

A or B?

That’s a good question. And here are the pros and cons.

To begin with, you want a domain name that is easy to type in to a browser’s address bar or an online search engine. Putting a hyphen in the middle only gives people more work – although not a lot more.

But then again, a hyphen tells the search engines that one word stops here, and another starts. That will make it easier for a search engine to rank brazilian-products.com for the keywords “brazilian products.”

But although the search engines are not humans, they are not stupid either. The search engine has built-in capabilities to recognize that brazilianproducts.com has the keywords “brazilian products” inside, even without a hyphen.

So which is a better choice? Neither! They both have their pros and cons. Personally, I would leave out hyphens if possible.

But when does it become “not possible” to leave out hyphens? When the non-hyphen domain name is already taken!

For example, someone might have already registered “brazilianproducts.com.” And many domain names are registered and just lying there doing nothing. This is because of the domain name gold rush we talked about in Lesson 7.

People saw that buying “big name” domain names and selling them later would be a very profitable business. And they were right. People have made fortunes simply registering domain names they knew would be in demand and later selling them to people who had the resources to really do something with it.

However, I would recommend, that if “yourdomain.com” is already taken, then try registering “yourdomain.net” instead. You should only purchase a domain name from a domain snatcher if you are absolutely sure that it is worth it.

And besides, you have other options, for example, if “yourdomain.net” is taken, you can try “yourdomain.org.” These three or two letter syllables which comes after the full stop in a domain name are called “domain name extensions.” You will learn more about the relevance of domain name extensions in “Choosing the Right Domain Name Extension.”

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