We started our discussion related to SEO or Search Engine Optimization through our article, “What is SEO?”. In that article I told you that there are two SEO jobs that you need to do for the better ranking of your blog at the search engine result page, and these are the “On-Site SEO” and the “Off-Site SEO“. And then one of the parts of a website that should be optimized is the Domain Name and URL. And that is what we’ll discuss through this article.
Optimizing Domain Names
Through the article, “How to Register Domain Names”, you’ve learned that Domain Name is the easy to memorize address of a website. And the example to this is the domain of this blog which is “selaplana.com“.
And here’s the list of few of the things you need to consider in picking domains for your blog which can help your blog to be ranked higher at the search engine result pages.
1) Make your domain relevant to your topic
I already mentioned on my previous post, “performing the on-site SEO“, that a domain that is relevant to the topic or niche of your blog could help your blog to be ranked higher at the search engine result page especially if the searched keywords are used in your domain.
For example: If the domain of your blog is “make-money-online.com”, search engine might rank your blog higher in the searches made using the keywords “make money online“.
2) Make your domain short
Making your domain short is not just good for the search engines but also for the internet users. Remember that short domain is just easy to memorize.
3) Using of hyphens or dashes to separate the words in a domain.
The SEOs and SEMs are still debating about using hyphen to separate words in a domain.
There was a theory that if the domain name contains 2 or more words, you should separate every words from the other by using hyphen or dash symbol. Why? It’s because search engines according to them are not yet capable of identifying words from the 2 or 3 words combined into 1 domain.
For example: The domain of your blog is “makemoneyonline.com”. If it is true that search engine couldn’t identify the words contained in that domain which are “make”, “money” and “online”, then it means that search engine will consider the words in that domain, “makemoneyonline”, as 1 word and therefore your blog will not be given weights by search engines in the words “make”, “money” and “online” but only on the term “makemoneyonline”.
But, there are other SEO experts who said that search engines consider the blog with domains that contains hyphen as spam site.
Is that really true?
I couldn’t answer that with regards to other search engines except Google.
Matt Cutts, a Google Guy, said that Google doesn’t penalize websites that has dashes on their domains.
That’s why I would always choose dashes instead of underscores. To answer a common question, Google doesn’t algorithmically penalize for dashes in the url. Of course I can only speak for Google, not other search engines. And bear in mind that if your domain looks like www.buy-cheap-viagra-online-while-consolidating-your-debt-so-you-can-play-texas-holdem-while-watching-porn.com, that may still attract attention for other reasons.
At least we’re sure that you are still in the safe side with Google if you’ll use dash or hyphen to separate words in a domain.
Don’t be confused with Domain Name and URL. URL stands for “Unique Resource Locator” and is used to identify specific webpage.
Remember that Domain Name can be considered a URL but not all URLs are Domain Names; and that Domain Name is always part of the URL.
To understand what I am saying, let’s take my article, “Adsense Income“, as an example.
The URL of that article is “http://www.selaplana.com/2009/01/21/my-adsense-income/”. But the domain name is “selaplana.com”. In other words, the domain selaplana.com is considered URL because it is used to identify the homepage of my blog, “SELaplana“. And it is still part of the URL of my article entitled “Adsense Income”.
Here’s what you should do to make the URL Search-Engine-Optimized?
1) Use the static looking URL
Use the URL that looks like this:
And avoid using this kind of URL:
2) Make your URL relevant to the content
If a certain webpage of your blog talks about “how to make money online by blogging“, it would be better if the URL contains your targeted keywords for that webpage. For example, you’ll target keywords: “make”, “money”, “online” and “blogging”. So, the URL should be:
3) Make your URL short
First, strip off those terms in the URL that is not relevant at all. For example if you are using this URL:
Then strip off the “2009/2/1/” from that URL because these terms are just making the URL longer. So, the final URL would be:
Second, limit the URL to contain 3 to 5 words only. The words contained in the domain are not of course included on this number.
Search Engine, especially Google, consider the URL with 3 to 5 words as normal URL, but a URL with words more than that number is already considered worse and that certain webpage will not be weighted with those keywords in the URL.
4) Write the URL in the lower case
URL is case sensitive.
If the URL of a webpage of your blog contains upper case terms, like:
Then the links will be valid only if the link from other webpage is using exactly that URL (including the upper cased letters). However, that certain webpage will never be credited with the Link Juice or Back Link if other bloggers will link to that webpage using the lower case:
5) Help search engines identify the right canonical URL
Canonical is a new word used by search engines. Canonical URL is the URL that best represent all the URLs that have similar content.
For example: The URLs in the list are all valid URLs and each of them is considered unique webpage. However, all these webpages have the same content.
In other words, search engines normally considered them duplicate contents. But, search engines are very much considerate and they understand that these webpages are just a result of the imperfection of the platform used by certain website. So, search engine perform the canonicalization so that only one of them will be included on the search result pages.
Canonicalization is the process of picking the best URL from the URLs found.
Search Engines are constantly evolving. From time to time its algorithm changes in order to make sure that the search results are always with high quality and are more accurate to satisfy the needs of the internet users searching the internet for important information.
So, the above tips are not the only things that you should consider in optimizing the domain and URLs of your blog. There are other things that I failed to mention here. But I will strive hard to learn more things especially those related to SEO so that I can share them to you.
And one more thing… The explanation in every points I mentioned above doesn’t contain the details on how to do a thing. So, just reply this email if you have questions. Of you can just visit the live version of this article, “Optimizing Domain and URL” and drop your questions at the comment section.