The Value of Hyphenated Domain Names

by Craig

Since the beginning of the Internet most webmasters have steered clear of registering domain names with hypens in the name. This centers around the fact that if you hope to capture business via word-of-mouth no one will remember to type in the hyphen when trying to visit your website. That, plus the hyphen key is not easily typed from memory and requires most typists to look down at the keyboard to ensure it is typed correctly.

But ask yourself the question, “How many people will ever likely visit my website from a word-of-mouth advertising experience?” Chances are, very few. Instead, most people will either visit your website after finding you from a search engine and a hyperlink in the search engine results page, or from a hyperlink placed on someone elses website or Internet directory. Given that, what is really wrong from having hyphens in a domain name? Well, since this blog is largely about domain name values, its fair to say that you’ll never be able to sell a domain name with a hyphen or dash in the name for the same value you could the same domain name without the hyphens. This is not always true, because obviously if someone was selling a domain name with one or more hyphens that was getting tons of traffic and business, it could be worth more than the same domain name without the hyphens. This would be particularly true for domains with only one hyphen it them, like my domain name is a clear example of a domain name with a hyphen that is obviously worth quite a bit of money for the following reasons:

  1. It is highly unlikely that you could ever afford to purchase the domain name without the hyphen.
  2. My domain name with the hyphen,, could become just as valuable as if it was popluated with many pages about breast implants.
  3. It is a highly searched keyword phrase.
  4. It is a high-cost keyword phrase, meaning Adwords ads are very expensive for this phrase.

If you’ve ever come across sites built with the famous HTML page generator and site builder SiteSell, you’ll also know that most of the Internet entrepreneurs that use SiteSell have domain names with hyphens. Why is this? Because they build domain names based on keyword niches and most keyword niche domain names without hyphens were taken a long time ago and not available. But even more importantly, and don’t forget this, SEO experts will all tell you that when it comes to a domain name with a hyphen versus one without a hyphen, the search engine cannot distinguish one from another. “How can I prove this?” you might ask. Easy! Do a Google search for the keyword “lock” and then do a search for the keyword phrase “l-o-c-k” and you’ll see the search engine results are the same. Do the same using the keyword “burp” and the phrase “b-u-r-p.” You’ll see the top positions on the search engine results page don’t change at all, while the search results a little lower change a little — but still stick with the subjects “lock” and “burp” — even though you searched for “l-o-c-k” and “b-u-r-p.”

This all brings me to my accomplishments today buying domain names off a “dropped” or expired domain names list. For only $7.05 each, my personal cost per domain name at Godaddy, I was able to purchase recently expired domain names, and ¬†All three will become great moneymakers for me once they are fully populated with contents and ads. One day, they each stand the chance of being at the top of the first search engine page on Google.

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