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Advise on domain name and search ranking

Posted on 2013-01-24
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Last Modified: 2013-01-24
Hi
I have a gereral question that maybe do not have 1 fixed answer,but more opinions.

We have a domain name like dapp-zimbabwe.org
This is for a NGO

This NGO has about 20 projects in zimbabwe and now they want to make a mini website to present each project.

Now the discussions are: how is the best aproach for google ranking

1. Own domain name. One example is : ponesai vanhu technical college
We buy a domain name like :ponesai-vanhu.org
I guess its better than pvtc.org as this is less saying on google

2. Sub domain: ponesai-vanhu.adpp-zimbabwe.org
I have heared someone saying that if using subweb you get more trafic as keyword from the main organization is only a pluss

Does anyone have some opinion about this that could be usefull. As i said in the start. Maybe there is not one clear answer but if anyone has any input before we start putting it all on the web, that would be great
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Question by:morten444
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Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 38813517
you are talking what is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and there are many techniques for it. It is explained on here >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization

it is nothing to do with the name, it depends on many thing such as tags, meta tags/data etc. There are companies which specialize is SEO business which can do a good job for you.
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Expert Comment

by:eivo
ID: 38813861
My advice on domain names is that it should be as short and memorable as possible. If you need to sit down an spell out a domain name in conversation then you're losing potential Word of Mouth visitors. Domains however are reasonably cheap, buy a few, set the DNS records up correctly and use different names in different contexts.

In practice, your domain doesn't make any difference to the SEO (although in some cases, TLDs may be treated preferentially.) This is largely based on cross linking, useful content, standards compliant XHTML, correctly formed META information etc. Innocentdevil links to a sensible source if information to get started with SEO. you should also scour http://www.google.com/webmasters for information and advice on optimizing your page for SEO.
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Author Comment

by:morten444
ID: 38814091
Hi
Thanks for answers.
Yes i am into Meta and Keywords, but I always had an understanding that domain name can be important.

If I want users searching on google for : ponesai vanhu
Do i understand that it does not matter if domain name is pvtc.org or ponesai-vanhu.org when it comes to raning?
I head that its important that the main search word is in the domain name as well.

An you please clarify before I move on to take action?
I am aware of SEO companies, but this is for small projects in Africa with no budget for this, so just trying to make sure we do it right from the start
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Assisted Solution

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 250 total points
ID: 38814386
I agree.  Get the shortest domain name possible and avoid the slash in the domain name if possible.   Given the choice,  pvtc.org is a much better choice.  Now lets say you have 30 mini projects each are called proj1, proj2, proj3...proj30 make those subfolders.  pvtc.org/proj1, pvtc.org/proj2...pvtc.org/proj30.

The most important thing you can do is create your structure for the user.  What makes more sense for them and not chase "seo".  If people find your content unique, compelling, and useful, there is a good chance they will share in some fashion.  Those organic shares are worth a lot of google brownie points.  

Right now, there are a lot of small projects in africa.  This means more competition.  So you do need to think of the site as a way to share with people involved in the project and make it easy for them to get info and share info rather then trying for "seo".

pvtc.org/proj1/water/
pvtc.org/proj1/people/
pvtc.org/proj1/geography/
pvtc.org/proj1/weather/

or

pvtc.org/water/proj1/
pvtc.org/water/proj2/
pvtc.org/water/proj3/
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eivo earned 250 total points
ID: 38814392
The important factors for SEO are debatable. In my opinion the name of your domain doesn't matter in the slightest - as I say, I would suggest that  you select your domain names up such that they work best for your word of mouth and other adversiting; not so it will stand out on search results. Here other factors are much more important.

PageRanking algorithms are rather different from search engine to search engine. In some cases, the doman does matter - but this will likely be limited to preferential treatment of specific SLDs, and will not matter for you. What will really matter is:

1) The content of your site. Well put together, accurate, and up to date honest content - The straight forward faux pas of lists of keywords hidden all over your site to 'fool' search engines into relating your site to specific keywords invariably doesn't work, and will in fact HURT - this is what good well designed META is for.
2) Use META and use it well. Focus on some key related keywords and use these - Look at http://google.com/webmasters for advice / tools to help you with this and to help maximise your rank.
3) Organize your site well - see above posts, but sensible organic folder structure (or url strucutre if using php_mod or something more exotic) not only helps to get folk to the right place in your site, but also helps the robotic overlords crawling the web get to where they need to be.
4) Link and Link back. Get your content out there. you're creating good content, share it with people - get it on social media, get people talking about it, linking to it and sharing it around. This will boost your page rank no end.
5) I cannot stress enough the utlility of standards compliance. Good, well formatted websites simply do better. Not only that, but the content of your <h> <h*> and <p> tags, actually help better place your website in rank. The additional effort to bring your html up to standards is very much worth it. The same goes for css.
6) Don't let content die. Any link on a search engine is a win - don't re-structure everything and loose incremental progress, say you no longer need mysite.org/widgets, but you might think your fidgets are even better - Learn what a 404 and 304 redirect are and use them well. Broken links are a bit like search engine cancer, and will ruin the rank of your page. Avoid them, with simple redirects.

In short, search engines are interested in getting relevant information to the consumer - SEO helps you get your page into the best possible shape to get at your target audience. Engage them, get them to share your site about and you're on to a winner.

As I say, I think the choice of whatdomaindoibuy isnt an SEO issue - but getting that right will help your word of mouth (the shorter the better) which indirectly will boost your SEO if your site is good and has half decent up-to-date content, and gets people talking.

EDIT: Regarding sud-domains - I am in agreement with the above post. You want to make your site organic to the user, rather than hunt SEO (You'll find that the robotic overlords are designed to understand what works better for real people too).  Overall It'll be much less of a headache to use well organised url structure than subdomanins IMHO.
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Author Closing Comment

by:morten444
ID: 38814833
Exelent Answers and Something for me to work on
Thanks alot
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