domain name Last week I spent a little bit of time discussing domain names and what works and what doesn’t. Welcome to part 2!

Domain Extension

Your domain extension, or TLD (Top Level Domain) can certainly have an influence on how your website appears in search engines. These include: .com, .org, .net, .info, .biz, .us, and more.

The first 3 in that list seem pretty familiar, I’m sure. But how many “.biz” or “.us” have you seen lately? Not too many? I thought so. The reality is, though there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these other domain extensions, TLDs that are less common tend to be more spammy and therefore less trusted.

Think about it. A spammer tries to grab a sweet domain, like www.BestDomain.com. He’s disappointed to find out that this domain name was bought up back when Al Gore invented the internet. So he tries domain extension after domain extension until, voila! www.BestDomain.biz is available.

You just have to look at it the way a search engine sees things. Of course, in time you could “show” the search engines that your “.biz” site is actually quite an authority in your sphere, but why go through the hassle?

Hyphens in Domain

There are only 2 reasons I would justify using hyphens in your domain name. One, the name is so long that it is easier on the eyes to have words separated. Two, the inclusion of a hyphen will separate 2 words that, by themselves there’s nothing wrong with them, but side-by-side they create a not so favorable word. Otherwise, I would keep in mind what Google has to say about hyphens.

Simply put, hyphens “raise their alert level.” I would suspect this relates to the issues with domain extensions. That is, hyphens in a domain often imply that someone was a little too late to the domain name dinner table (perhaps because they’re a spammer) and had to include 7 hyphens just to get one.

So there you have it. In my opinion, these two posts represent the most relevant things there are to say about domain names, and what works and what doesn’t. If you have any other advice, just comment below.

Jamie Bates