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Search Engine Bytes

My domain name does not contain any of my keywords. Should I dump it in favor of one that does?

QUESTION: I currently have a domain name that does not contain any of my keywords. Recently I've come to understand that having keywords in the domain name can provide a boost in rankings, especially at Yahoo! Am I correct in assuming I should have selected a domain name based on the www.keyword-phrase-here.com model as my URL?

ANSWER: The short answer is, YES. And, as you've accurately noted, this strategy is currently very important at Yahoo as their directory now strongly favors domains which contain keywords in the URL… particularly domains (URLs) with keywords separated by dashes. Obviously this advantage could change, or even disappear altogether, at any time. Regardless, keywords-in-the-domain-name is one of those strategies that can only help, and will never hurt, a site's rankings.

In addition, keywords contained within URLs tend to "prove" relevance to the very consumers you're hoping will select your link(s) from Search Engines and directory listings. For this reason alone we highly recommend you use them in your URLs.

Although it's still possible for me to use keywords in my domain name, it poses other problems. For instance, my site has already been indexed by several Search Engines and I have already established relevant links to www.my-original-domain.com, therefore I'm rather reluctant to abandon it.

ANSWER: That's understandable and we recommend that you continue using your original domain… don't abandon it! Instead, simply add the other keyword-rich URLs as supplemental sites.

If I do that, isn't it true I'd be creating mirrored sites? It's my understanding that mirror sites are frowned upon and that I'd be risking the possibility that one, or both, sites wouldn't be indexed at all if they were viewed as duplicate content.

ANSWER: If the keyword-rich URL(s) were exact duplicate sites then, yes, they would be considered mirror sites and some Search Engines would detect them and purge them from their index.

A better idea is to create similar, but not exact duplicate content for each of your keyword-rich URLs… the content of each site should emphasize whatever keyword or key phrase the URL is featuring.

For maximum effect, you should place each of these sites with different hosting services… thereby placing each of them within different Class C IP address blocks… and list them in the Whois database registry as owned by a "company" named with the same relevant keywords.

Doing so will create the critical ownership separation that is necessary to avoid being detected as a company with duplicate listings on Yahoo. In addition, by hosting each domain on different Class C IP blocks any cross-linking you do between sites will more likely be considered "expert" links and their link relevancy should be fully credited with the search engines.

Of course, this is more work and expense that some people are prepared to do. However, before you decide it is too much work for you, consider this… that's likely what your competition thinks too. And, by going the extra mile you can, for what amounts to comparatively little effort, bury your competition by out-flanking them and out-numbering them on all online fronts.

In the final analysis, we've found this to be one of the very, very best Internet marketing strategies available... and the few who are willing to put forth the extra effort generally end up dominating their online niche.

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