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Follow-Up: Why Not Use Keyworded Domains?

A lot of people use longer keyword-saturated domains. Some of these are carry-overs from an earlier generation of web thought which suggested that search traffic was king. In todays world of branding, name recognition and new media, though, these keyword-rich domains simply don’t cut it anymore. Buy why?

For one thing, they are long, cumbersome, awkward and hard to remember at times. They also tell any web-savvy visitor that you are doing whatever you can to come up on searches – that your goal is traffic and that you’re ‘working the system’ to get it. To people like me at least that is a warning light, a red flag that you might have poor content you are simply trying to dress up with targetted Google-friendly keywords.

There is another thing, though, that a lot of people don’t think about: the prestige of the domain name. A short, quirky and memorable domain is hard to think of and many or most are taken. Anyone can go out and find three generic words to string together (e.g. BlogHomeZone.com or MedicalTreatmentSolutions) but few can find 5 to 8 letter domains that aren’t a jumble of consonants and vowels. In short, when people see a shorter domain name they are cued into the owner’s credibility in one (or all) of three ways:

(1) they can see the owner spent time and thought coming up with a creative name and thus that they have a personal investment in the site

(2) they understand that the owner has paid something for the domain and, as in the point above, that the author consequently has an investment (monetary in this case) that they wish to protect

(3) they realize that the owner has probably had the domain for a long time and thus has already invested considerable time and effort into the site

These kinds of things may not be readily apparent to a new blogger or website developer but that is precisely the point: they are common pitfalls made when people purchase their first domains. Are you stuck with a domain you don’t like? It might be best to learn from it and move on. Still picking one? Think about how tech-savvy individuals will perceive it and let that guide you in your purchase!

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