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Choose wisely when you register a domain name

October 8, 2006 by  

Choosing a domain name is always a challenge. It can be frustrating to think of a clever name only to discover it has been registered by someone else.

Here are some general guidelines when selecting a domain name:

  • Get a “.com” name whenever possible. (It’s simply more intuitive than .net, .org, .us, etc.)
  • Choose a name that is meaningful. and easy to remember (i.e. www.businessweek.com, www.executive-coach.com)
  • Include your major keyword(s) that describe your business, industry or subject of expertise. (i.e. www.mr-seo.com, www.searchenginewatch.com, www.executive-coach.com)
  • Avoid using a hyphen, if possible, only because consumers are more likely to forget to include them.

Every domain registrar has a search tool. But here is a third-party tool I really like: ABAKUS Keyword Domain. I find it useful for adding my key terms and letting it generate available combinations for me.

If you feel strongly about buying an existing domain name, you need to make sure that the domain name you want doesn’t have any negative bagage attached to it:

  • Has it been used for spamming or porn or bad search engine optimization tactics?
  • Has it been used to clutter natural search results to lure people to click on ads?
  • Has the domain been blocked by ISPs or added to email black lists?

If you are confident that the domain name has a good history, then it is worth investing in. SEO folks love to buy old domain names with good history because this is one factor (of many) to help with ranking high in search results.

Good luck!

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