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What Is A Domain

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 2 min read

What Is A Domain

Domain names are the readable portion of the Internet address used to denote website locations. Root domains are the extensions that end with .com, .org or .net. Subdomains are the next level assignment for a website address, so in addition to the domain name, the subdomain name is in front of the domain name.

Top Domain Tips

Word Separators - avoid hyphens because they impede the credibility of the site and act as a spam alarm.

Top Level Domains

Top domains (like a .com) are the ones most associated with domain names. For the most noticeable rankings movement, top-level domains should refrain from uncommon naming with atypical spelling and difficult


Domain names that exceed 15 characters should be avoided. Shorter names are easier to remember and share. They are also less likely to experience loss due to typos.

Root Domains

These domains are the top level. Root domains are secured from registrars.


These are the third level of domains. They are part of the larger system of domain naming. Subdomains are free to add as long as they are under the umbrella of the root domain controlled by the site’s Webmaster. For example, www.123abc.com (the subdomain is www) and 123abc.com (there is not a subdomain.) These two subdomains are frequently subjected to canonicalization errors.

Top SEO Tactics: Domains

To keep your site search engine ready, it’s important to focus on a selection of the following:

Easily remembered Domain Name

It’s important to choose a name for your domain that is easily remembered and can be used to promote and advertise your brand. These domains should be something that is easy to type into a browser. Domains that are easily remembered help people find the domain name they may have forgotten. This may be a result of familiarization of forgotten domains through word of mouth advertising

Domains enriched with keywords

Keywords are a significant portion of what makes SEO work. Creating keyword-rich domains is important because it helps with page rankings and creates better traffics to the site that is more relevant and targeted. It may prove challenging to find a balance between a unique and catchy domain name and a relevant keyword rich one. Keyword rich domain names can be very beneficial. It is increasingly more important to have a well rounded website that not only includes keyword rich domains, but other SEO significant factors. Google has de-prioritize webpages that only focus on keywords in their domain with little optimization elsewhere on the domain.


If you have a multi-word domain name, then it may be easier to separate the words and add a hyphen for readability. Be cautious with the use of hyphens because they can appear suspicious.

Non .Com Top Level Domain Names

When a web designer registers the name of the domain they usually are encouraged to buy additional domains. Also, it is discouraged to buy any domain name that does not have the dot com listing available being it’s the most valuable listing.

Subdomain folders

Search engines maintain different metrics and it is recommended that Webmaster add link centric content like blogs to subfolders rather than subdomains. The exception to this suggestion is the building of language specific sites, for example (i.e., fr.123abc.com.)

Buying domains

Web pages are bought for their links and then redirected to another site. This has been an effective practice for SEO teams, but new practices have emerged due to changes enacted by Google. The company devalues links from expired domains or ones with questionable ownership claims.

Registration length of domain names

It is a myth that domain registration length matters to SERP listing and ranking.

Moving your domain

Webmasters have the ability to move their domain to another site if needed, but there are critical factors to consider like redirecting all the subfolders and pages, which can affect rankings.

Felix Rose-Collins

Felix Rose-Collins


Felix Rose-Collins is the Co-founder of Ranktracker, With over 10 years SEO Experience . He's in charge of all content on the SEO Guide & Blog, you will also find him managing the support chat on the Ranktracker App.


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