The Q&A series is where we ask domain name experts, influencers and friends of DomainSherpa for their opinions. This week we are looking at whether it is better to develop a singular or plural version of a domain name into a directory of providers.
Domainers understand that, however it may change over time
, there will always be a connection between search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword-rich domain names. But the nuances of that connection, which can provide a domainer with an SEO advantage, are less well understood. When we received a reader question about whether to choose a singular or plural domain name for a directory, we went to the expert — the “Wizard of Moz” himself, Rand Fishkin
, CEO of SEO Software SEOmoz.org
Carol in New Jersey asks: “I want to develop one of my domain names into a service provider directory. I can’t decide whether to use the singular or plural for the primary website (I luckily own both). From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, what is the best choice for the directory domain name? (For example, lawyer.com or lawyers.com, pizzeria.com or pizzerias.com, plumber.com or plumbers.com.)”
Rand Fishkin: Personally, I would opt for something plural like “lawyers.com.” It makes more sense in the plural because a directory or listing site should offer multiple choices and because it’s likely that from a search perspective, users searching for plurals are seeking advice on which to choose.
Exact match domains [website addresses that are identical to keyword searches] are still powerful in all the major search engines, and for a site like this, having an obvious name that indicates precisely what your site offers is a very good thing.
: That makes sense. However, according to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool
, the phrase lawyer
is searched almost three times as often per month as lawyers
. Given that most people seem to be searching on the singular query, will seattlelawyers.com perform just as well – from a keyword-in-the-domain-name perspective – as seattlelawyer.com?
Rand Fishkin: Search engines see the singular and plural differences, and it matters to some extent, but it won’t be a killer factor either way.
Follow-up: So search engines will see a singular search query (Seattle lawyer) within a plural domain name (seattlelawyers.com) and give some SEO credit to the result? Will the opposite be true? Will search engines see a plural search query (Seattle lawyers) within a singular domain name (seattlelawyer.com) and give some SEO credit to the result?
Rand Fishkin: In both cases, the answer is yes. An exact match is slightly more powerful but only barely. You will get a lot of credit for singular or plural search queries with the plural or singular version of the domain name.
About Rand: Rand Fishkin is the CEO & Co-Founder of the web’s most popular SEO Software provider; SEOmoz. He co-authored the Art of SEO from O’Reilly Media and was named on the 40 Under 40 List and 30 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30. Rand has been written about in The Seattle Times, Newsweek and PC World among others and keynoted conferences on search around the world. He’s particularly passionate about the SEOmoz blog, read by tens of thousands of search professionals each day. In his miniscule spare time, Rand enjoys the company of his amazing wife, whose serendipitous travel blog chronicles their journeys.
[Photo credit: SEOmoz.org]
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