There is always a lot of talk in the SEO industry about how hyphenated domains are spammy, but are they always? One example I have come across recently is a Volkswagen website, http://www.vw-smith-knight-fay.co.uk. This is obviously a legitimate real world business, so will the hyphens really be harming their rankings?
Well with some further digging, the site http://www.vw-smith-knight-fay.co.uk actually has the cross-site canonical tag implemented which links to http://www.smithknightfay.com
Now this isn’t a very scientific test to see if hyphens do or don’t have an impact, but if we have a look at some of the terms they have in their meta title to see how they are ranking for these
Volkswagen Smith Knight Fay = ranking #1
VW Dealers Lancashire And Cheshire = ranking #1
Volkswagen Smith Knight Fay from Inchcape = ranking #1
So in summary, this test doesn’t prove anything except that real world businesses do use hyphenated domains in a non-spammy way. Although I have to say that I have noticed an awful lot of spammy domains that use hyphenated-keyword-rich-domain-names-to-trick-the-search-engines.com
It always does amaze me how fast Google is at indexing new pages that are created on the web. I created a post about the hCard rich snippet and within 5 minutes Google had indexed the page and it was ranking at position 6.
I have seen this happen many times before and in competitive markets such as the travel industry. Where new pages were created and within 24 hours Google was already ranking the page at position 13 for the phrase “Colva Beach Hotels“. In the second example, I think the strength of the domain has certainly helped this page out, just as when another random subject is created on Wikipedia and it automatically ranks extremely well.
The rest of the work means moving up a few more positions and that will come over time. Getting listed within the top 20 is the easy bit.
How do you get to #1 on Google and occupy the 40% of the SERPs?
Simple! Choose a non-competitive keyword to target….like your name…
Out of pure vanity today, I decided to Google myself. This blog was created 48hrs ago on Saturday afternoon, and it has not only been crawled by Google but it is also ranking number 1 already.
Here are the screen shots from today…
#1 – Michael Cropper’s Website
#5 – My other website – Offering people a way to earn an extra income in their spare time.
#6 – My LinkedIn Profile – Michael Cropper
#10 – My Twitter Profile – Michael Cropper
My Facebook page was also ranking a few days back although it seems that another “Michael Cropper” is now more important than me in the eyes of Google, but hey, I’m sure I will get my reputation back shortly.
If only it was this easy to rank for more competitive terms such as Kuala Lumpur Hotels!