"What's The Big Fuss About Long Domain Names?"

Nov 19 22:00 2001 Alan Yap Print This Article

The word is out. You can now register domain names of up to67 ... This is going to shoot your ranking way up onthe search engines. Because if you stuff all your ... your domain name,

The word is out. You can now register domain names of up to
67 characters. This is going to shoot your ranking way up on
the search engines. Because if you stuff all your keywords
into your domain name,Guest Posting search engines are simply going to
love your site. Or so they say...

But is that really the truth?

No point speculating. Let's do a little test...

Go to your favorite search engine, say AltaVista. Key in
your search term, say "website promotion." Look at the top
10 rankings, closely.

How many of these top rankings actually have the full term
"website promotion" in their domains?

No hype, just facts.

Call me a natural sceptic if you want. When the news hit the
town, with all the "Special Announcements" flying
everywhere, urging people to "go grab a new all-you-can-
stuff keyword rich domain name and emerge tops in search
engine ranking," I was not at all moved. I believe this is
too simplistic an approach to getting high search engine

1. Besides keywords in domain names, search engines look at
a few other factors for relevancy. In fact, this is what Don
Dodge, AltaVista's Director of Engineering said: "Keywords
in the domain name do not help much in ranking. We look at
half a dozen factors in ranking. The words on the page,
their frequency and position on the page, are still among
the most important factors."

2. Search engines are constantly evolving. Once they find
out that such keyword-stuffed domain names are content-poor
sites with low relevance, they are going to come up with new
rules to preclude such sites from getting the top spots.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not against registering for long
domain names. I just feel that we should see things in
perspective. If you're getting a long domain name in the
hope of securing a high search engine placement, err...
based on the facts, please don't expect miracles.

So what should we look for when choosing a domain name? I
use a simple "3 Es" guide:

1. Easy To Remember
Yahoo is certainly easier to remember than AltaVista. No
surprise why Yahoo is doing a LOT better.

2. Easy To Spell
If you have a long domain name, be careful. One spelling
mistake by a potential visitor is all you need to lose him

3. Easy To Pronounce
If your domain name is hard to pronounce, how do you expect
people to spread the word and tell others about it?

What do the 3 Es have in common? They make things simple for
your visitors! Our world is complex enough. We don't need
another complex domain.

Must your domain name be relevant to your site content? Not
necessarily. What has the name "Yahoo" got to do with a
search engine or a directory? And is there any real
connection between the words "Amazon" and "books"?

Selecting a domain name is an extremely important step. So
do it carefully.

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Alan Yap
Alan Yap

Alan Yap, founding editor of ProfitJump.com.
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