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domain names and url

Posted on 2014-01-15
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Last Modified: 2014-01-20
i am old fashioned enough to still believe that .com reigns supreme .
however, in the last 15 years or so     .co.uk has grown in usage and i have come to believe a hyphen between multi-word  in a domain name is more favored by google.
I have this question relating to my new website which is of practical value ONLY to UK users: :
Should I use   1.   newdomain.com    or
                         2.   new-domain.co.uk

Opinions and reasons would be much appreciated to help me decide.
Thanks
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Question by:digisel
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Rob Jurd, EE MVE earned 200 total points
ID: 39784153
I agree that the .com has "reigned supreme" in the past. However, Awareness of domains, specially more localised such as .co.uk are much higher now than they once were and your general user is more familiar with using them.

As you've already mentioned, I believe your site (and product) are the driver.  As a user, I like to see a localised domain for local products.  If I'm buying from eBay for example I will use the .com.au version to find products in my local area.  It's more intuitive and we're all familiar with those domains today.

If your product is not tied to a local or more global then the .com would be more applicable. Most brands of product would fit into this category eg coca-cola, samsung etc.  you may still have localised domains for those products but initially you would expect a .com
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by:Gary
Gary earned 100 total points
ID: 39784157
Rob has answered the .com part succinctly.

For the hyphen bit...
It has no bearing on SEO as far as ranking is concerned,

If you can get the non hyphenated version great, if not then then you should 'think' about a different domain name and one reason for that is that you could lose traffic because people forget the hyphen when typing in the domain in the browser.

If you have to have the domain with hyphens then go for it
And if you can get both versions then do.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39784163
Great point Gary. We had nothing but phone calls with a hyphen...
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by:chilternPC
chilternPC earned 50 total points
ID: 39784173
I would register all the popular domains for newdomain.* simply to stop competition or other industries using your newdomain  name.
you can then configure the domains to point to your main choice.
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by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
Rob Jurd, EE MVE earned 200 total points
ID: 39784243
chilternPC - I used to do the same but it ended up being a waste of money.  
Given the low cost of doing so, I would register the .com and the .co.uk and leave it at that.
It may depend on your product but it's not going to take much for your competition to set up a very similar domain if they wanted to.

I know with .com.au there are certain restrictions around registering the domain such as you need to have a company/business already registered in that name or very similar or prove that your branding is close enough to warrant the domain name.  In other words, it's a manual process of review, something .com doesn't provide and will make it harder for your competition to register a similar or the same name.

Just on the hyphen, I would register both versions (with and without the hyphen).  Based on the point Gary made about it being confusing to users.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39784260
Agree with Rob, just the .com (with and without hypen) and the .co.uk (with and without)

Though keep an eye out for the new TLD's coming online if any of them fit your business, maybe handy to have
http://www.register365.com/gtlds.html
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 150 total points
ID: 39784380
The only reason experts-exchange has the hyphen is because taking away the hyphen creates a new word that puts the domain in a different category.    

I would avoid hyphens at all costs. Not too long ago they were used in some domains for seo purposes but today that does not make a difference.  Now, ease of use.  Hyphens and numbers are hard to use.  Try giving out the domain name over the phone or out loud.

I can't speak to the culture in the UK, but just on name alone, if I had the choice of the .com without a hyphen and another with, I would choose the one without for sure.   If you do buy multiple domains, make sure you only use one and 301 redirect the others to the main domain.  

This type of article is repeated multiple times talking about the hyphen in the same way http://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-domain-name
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Author Closing Comment

by:digisel
ID: 39794004
thanks for your input.   i agree with all the comments.  interesting to hear the common themes.
thanks.
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