Domains and SEO: Myths and Tips with Bill Hartzer @bhartzer #VCBuzz

Domains and SEO: Myths and Tips with Bill Hartzer @bhartzer #VCBuzzA domain name is where any site starts but it’s getting harder and harder to get one. Let’s discuss what things to keep in mind when hunting for a catchy domain name for your business.

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About Bill

Bill Hartzer is an independent SEO consultant.

Bill owns Bill Hartzer, LLC, a Strategic Online Marketing Consultancy that provides SEO, social media, and online reputation management services. Connect to Bill on Linkedin

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become an SEO (and one of the smartest ones)? What’s your career path?

I became an SEO out of necessity. Needed to get traffic to my small business site back in 1996.

I was a technical writer and webmaster full time. Learned all the SEO skills before it was called SEO.

I sold my first small business, along with the domain name. Then I suddenly got interested in domains back in 1998. I first sold domain name I had was HotResume dot com, with a resume database (searchable). Sold it in 1998 for mid $XX,XXX

Q2 Everyone wants to know these days: When hunting for a domain, should one focus on .com or would any other (fancy) top level domain do as well in Google? Are .com domains still easier to rank?

Really good options now. If starting fresh & branding use a domain that describes your biz or what you do.

I really like the new .buzz and .live TLDs, especially .LIVE which is great for broadcasting live events, or video.

@godaddy auctions are good–but you need to look at all the auctions, including @namejet and others so you don’t miss one.

Actually, what’s interesting is that .com is prevalent in the USA. Outside the USA, people are used to other TLDs.

There are literally hundreds of available extensions now, this is a great place to start.

I have to say that it would be depending on the country. For Ireland, it’s .IE and UK it’s So the ccTLDs are more popular, generally, in their own country.

Q3 Should we still try to find domains with core keywords in them? Are they still easier to rank?

Domains with keywords can be easier to rank because others will link to you with related anchor text.

Google says that all domain endings treated equal. I get that. But they don’t control how people link with anchor text.

If you are jacksonville dot attorney, it’s just natural for people to link to you with “jacksonville attorney”.

Not likely, you still get a good mix of various anchor text. You can also focus your links on brand anchor text.

Q4 What are the most common SEO myths when it comes to domains?

Some think that just buying a keyword rich domain and using it will get you great rankings. Not true.

Some think that buying a keyword rich domain and redirecting to your current site will get you great rankings. Not true.

You have to actually use the domain name for a website, and have relevant content and links in order to get rankings.

That’s a very good point. Do your due diligence before you buy and redirect an older domain.

Yes, you need to do your due diligence thoroughly check out the link profile of any domain you are redirecting. Especially topic.

Yes there still are risks, I’ve seen people buy stolen domains. To minimize risk, buy an older domain, put microsite on it for 6 months, and check it out before moving/redirecting.

Generally not. Unfortunately stolen domains are a big issue that no one really talks about. Look at whois history.

Q5 Domains aside, how did you manage to get that pretty knowledge graph for your name search results in Google?

My knowledge graph entry goes back to the time I spent with Freebase, adding content to it several years ago. Freebase was a part of the knowledge graph. Allowed you to add lots of wikipedia-like data.

Now, the “easiest” way to get KG entry for your name in SERPS is getting a Wikipedia page. But that’s tough to do.

I’d like to hear how people picked their current domain name, the one that they’re using. And why

Makes perfect sense. And it’s brandable, as well. People don’t understand why the use of the word Amazon. But it’s a brand … a word (even if it’s a made up one).

I still think there are a few directories out there that are worth the 30 seconds it takes to submit

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