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Old 12-06-2007   #1
Mark Jackson
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Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

Last week, I wrote a column on SEW about my opinion that domains with multiple hyphens in the root are "spammy" (ie: keywordA-keywordB-keywordC.com )

A reader strongly disagreed. Since I am not a stubborn jerk, I opened myself up to opinions from my friends in the Industry (some quotes will be posted in my column on Tuesday, December 11, 2007). Since my sample size is still relatively small, I wanted to put this out for further debate among all of you.

I haven't been able to find any recent chatter about this on the forums. Certainly, search engines change the way that they look at things, over time. It's my opinion that the search engines must be on the look out for things which are easily manipulated for SEO purposes.Domain purchases with keywords "stuffed" in them, using multiple hyphens, seems - to me - to be something that could cause a red flag to be raised.

Perhaps the search engines may see this, and look for other things (duplicate content, poor quality backlinks, etc.) before passing any judgement on the domain?

What's been your experience?
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Old 12-06-2007   #2
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

I love hyphenated domain names... they are still workingn for me
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Old 12-06-2007   #3
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

Quote:
Perhaps the search engines may see this, and look for other things (duplicate content, poor quality backlinks, etc.) before passing any judgement on the domain?
Yep, just another signal of quality or possible lack. Don't think any SE would hit any site without other hinky things going on.

Last edited by jimbeetle : 12-07-2007 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Stuck 'aitch on a hinky keyboard
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Old 12-06-2007   #4
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

As a user, I do think domains with multiple hyphens look spammy. That said, I haven't noticed a decline in these types of domains ranking top ten.
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Old 12-07-2007   #5
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

It'll look spammy if the domain is loaded with KWs separated by hyphens. But it depends on how you will incorporate the KWs.
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Old 12-11-2007   #6
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

Hi,I may be a bit out of topic,nevertheless want to show you something to make the things clear.........So,here's a "short" key-word stuffed URL with multiple hyphens: http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/buy-...es-skate-shoes
This page is #2 (!!!!) in Google for "cheap-shoes-online". What is your precious opinion?
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Old 12-11-2007   #7
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

I see it as number 8 for "cheap-shoes-online" and "cheap shoes online" but 3 for cheap-shoes-online

While I agree you may have some info on hyphenated terms - I think your conclusions are wrong.... "precious opinion" comment aside - the domain is not hyphenated the url is....
all engines use the hyphen for page naming as acceptable... and the hyphen is seen as a blank just like underscores are now

The domain also builds its own authority and impacts results as is obvious here.
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Old 12-12-2007   #8
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

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Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster View Post
I see it as number 8 for "cheap-shoes-online" and "cheap shoes online" but 3 for cheap-shoes-online

While I agree you may have some info on hyphenated terms - I think your conclusions are wrong.... "precious opinion" comment aside - the domain is not hyphenated the url is....
all engines use the hyphen for page naming as acceptable... and the hyphen is seen as a blank just like underscores are now

The domain also builds its own authority and impacts results as is obvious here.
Ok,let it be so...I CAN see the difference between domain name and url Let's set aside hyphens,would it be a normal practice to use such a kw-stuffed spamming url?
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Old 12-12-2007   #9
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

Quote:
would it be a normal practice to use such a
kw-stuffed !(spamming) url?
Sure, it's very normal practice and I'll tell you why.

An outfit like that doesn't have a bunch of clerks sitting down with Notepad typing out their web pages. They're dynamically generated via a sophisticated back-end database - out of necessity, as are all large sites.

The descriptor for the page header is the same as the URL; they're generated alike in the coding. Due to the nature of their business model, those are advertisers' products, and their product descriptions have to be fully descriptive and cover a broad spectrum of shopper usage of terminology.

So some might call it spammy, while for all practical purposes, it could be considered a semantically diverse URL & page header. Remember that a lot of visitors to a page like that will come through the search box, and covering all bases semantically will help more shoppers find what they're looking for more easily, regardless of how they search.

In that respect, it's quite user friendly.
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Old 12-12-2007   #10
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Re: Multiple Hyphens in Root Domain - Spam?

As Marcia said dynamic sites have a tendency to have long hyphenated urls.

The reason for the hyphens is because underlines up until recently were a character and would make the url unreadable by the engines.
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