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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge, Rand Fishkin

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Optimization of Domain Names/URLs

Two of the most basic parts of any website are the domain name and the URLs for the pages of the website. This section will explore guidelines for optimizing these important elements.

Optimizing Domains

When a new site is being conceived or designed, one of the critical items to consider is the naming of the domain, whether it is for a new blog, a company launch, or even just a friend’s website. Here are 12 tips that will be indispensable in helping you select a great domain name:

  1. Brainstorm five top keywords. When you begin your domain name search, it helps to have five terms or phrases in mind that best describe the domain you’re seeking. Once you have this list, you can start to pair them or add prefixes and suffixes to create good domain ideas. For example, if you’re launching a mortgage-related domain, you might start with words such as mortgage, finance, home equity, interest rate, and house payment, and then play around until you can find a good match.

  2. Make the domain unique. Having your website confused with a popular site that someone else already owns is a recipe for disaster. Thus, never choose a domain that is simply the plural, hyphenated, or misspelled version of an already established domain. For example, for years Flickr did not own Flicker.com, and probably lost traffic because of that. They recognized the problem and bought the domain, and as a result http://flicker.com now redirects to http://flickr.com.

  3. Choose only .com-available ...

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