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Domain Names: Some In's & Out's! (Blog Topic) posted by Bob (Admin)
Posted By : Bob  28th, November 2012
It is not relevant, but could be of interest to those seeking a directory listing or webpage.
What is a Domain Name?
HELLO, I'M LOOKING FOR............
Yes, names matter. A lot.
Essentially when your domain name is registered on the internet you, in addition to your domain name, offer a title, description and keywords. These are known as Meta Tags. So, you could have a domain name like SkyBlue; your Meta Title could be "The the Barberton Outdoor and Adventure Club."It's clear that titles matter to search. You're less likely to rank well in search engines for key phrases if those phrases are not in the title of your content. It's also clear that search engines are putting a great deal of emphasis on social signals when ranking content. Interestingly enough, titles also have a direct impact on just how much your content will be shared socially. The search engines base search result rankings on an algorithm that draws from some 200 "signals." Think of it as searching for a book.  If you are browsing subject content; a catchy title can make all the difference as can the feel of the author's name. If you are looking for a known item with an ISBN Number - game over!
In the same way that we have names, websites have domain names. The domain name is the address that you type into your browser when you want to go to a website. Every single page on the internet, has a unique name.  Uniqueness is created by adding lower level page names. You will generally find the full name of each page in the internet browser at the top of your screen. If you copy a page address and paste it into an e-mail to a friend that person will go directly to the page in question when they use the address that you sent them. Internet browsers are programmes that manage the interface between your PC and the Internet eg Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Bing etc..
Try this; watch the address space at the top of your screen; you will see the address change with every page that you go to. If the address does not change then the address has been "cloaked." We will introduce re-direction and cloaking below.
A catchy title can make all the difference?
What Is The Best Name?
Eish! It's a good but tough question.
Our view is that it is not how short or how pretty etc it is but it is the one that best describes who you are. If you are the answer to what the world will ask for; what is the question? If there is a word that captures this question then that is the right name. If you were "Coke" what should your internet name be? This is easy, because billions have been spent over decades to teach you to use this name when you want one.
If you were a new organisation what should your name be. That there are a minimum of a dozen "name the baby" books in most book stores indicates that whilst the name is normally a personal preference it is the reputation and exposure that the name gets, as it grows older, that will become increasingly more relevant. This said when you are hoping to be "caught" by those "fishing/surfing/browsing" on the internet and who you know enter "keywords" as "bait" for information then selecting a domain name that will position you within a category of supplier may be relevant to the growth of your website's popularity.
Lets say that you sell a Cabernet wine. Those that are not seeking a specific brand will search the broad search term or keyword "cabernet." In this case selecting a name like YourDomainNameCabernet will place you in the "shoal" of other "cabernet" sellers. As a browser, without brand knowledge or reputation, you would select a name that arouses an interest. If you know what that name will be; it is the one for you! If you have an established reputation and brand name then using it to guide your domain name selection is astute.
If you are new to the world that you want to market to, we suggest that you commit time to selecting a variety of available options and then that you go and ask a sample of the people, that you would like to have as customers, for their opinions. remember that there are two main ways to be found; you tell the world or you get found!

Domain names and keywords refer users to your site and both merit research.

What is a domain name Extension?
The letters that follow your domain name after the dot is your domain name extension. Domain name extensions put the domain name options available to you in categories. The first to be introduced are those often referred to as Generic Top Level Domains (GTLDs). These are the international domains with no geographic connotations. The second to be introduced are the Country-Coded Top Level Domains (CCTLDs).
Generic Top Level Domain Extensions
There are a variety of international GTLDs to choose from; yourdomainname.com, yourdomainname.co, yourdomainname.net, yourdomainname.info, yourdomainname.org, yourdomainname.biz, yourdomainname.mobi, yourdomainname.tv  etc.
The most sought after domain extension in the world is the .com option. This is because of it's international universal applicability and popularity. A .info extension is generally selected to provide the subtle hint that it is an "Information" site. A .org extension is often seen as being a public sector or NGO site and some also see the .net extension as being an alternative for public entities. The latter inferences, whilst there, are not derived from any web rule book! As you move away from a .com you will find that you can be more choosy in your choice of domain name.
Country-Coded Domain Extensions
Most countries offer country-coded domain extensions. Examples inculde .co.za and .za for South Africa, .co.uk for British Sites, .co.ke for Kenyan sites, .ca for Canadian sites, .fr for French sites and so on. If your focus is country specific then a great thing about country-coded domains is that your preferred domain name is often more likely to be available. Another advantage is that if the optimisation of your site is not well done then your site is likely to gather a better ranking in the country that it is coded for. If however the site belonged to say, a vet, then the optimisation would need to be around a neighbourhood and being country coded would help little. The reason for this is that one is unlikely to take ones dog to a Vet on the other side of town never mind to one in the next town. Thus whilst there is a definite place for country-coded domain extensions the matter of attracting the desired search traffic to your website is a function of many variables.
Folder Domain Names and Sub-Domain Names
A folder domain name may be thought of as the "human" naming convention in reverse. Yes, humans place there first or nick name first and their family or surname second. Website naming conventions work the other way around. When it comes to the Internet we place the "family name" first and the individual webpage name second. As we suggested above we suggest that you once again pay attention to the webpage name of the pages that you visit. You will see that the initial part of the name is constant but that the back end changes on a page to page basis.
The name structure normally is http://www.domainname.extension/foldername/etc 
Internet addresses that include "folder" names carry the same credibility as any other name from search engines; in fact the entire internet is structured around folder name page referencing.
The name structure for a sub-domain name is http://www.sub.domainname.extension 
The sub-domain name is set as a prefix to the domain name with a dot between. There is much consensus that sub-domain names are not highly rated by search engines and in the absence of opinion that suggests otherwise we recommend that you research the matter further before considering the use of a sub-domain name.
Domain Name Redirection
The practice of redirection is a mature and well established practice or process of forwarding a browser/person that navigates to a given domain name to another.
It is as simple as: "Hi, Jack's not here he is at Jill's house!" You can use link forwarding which discloses the journey or you can use domain name cloaking which keeps your top level domain at the top!
As a generalisation as long as the redirection is set as being a permanent redirection the top level domain will carry as much "recognition" as the linked underlying domain. The practice is understood to carry search engine support. Often, where one seeks the "best of both worlds" one may enjoy the immediacy of a folder domain as well as the plusses of being associated with a collective marketing opportunity but in addition the look and feel of branded individualism is available by redirecting a branded individualistic domain to a hub domain name that offers folder identities to members of the "family." 
Regular link forwarding: Redirection may be done in such a way that the browser is able to track their internet journey by following the domain name and folder name changes as one migrates from one webpage to another.
Domain Name Cloaking: It may also be done in such a way that the browser is unable to see the true lower level location address of any given webpage. The latter process is know as domain name "cloaking."  Simply put, the top level domain name cloaks or hides the underlying lower level portion of the domain  domain approach. 
With link forwarding your browser will reflect the full designated domain name ( the top level name and the lower level name) for all pages and the uncloaked approach will allow the user to follow the migration path and as such  the "journey" is transparent. The cloaked approach "brands" the site with the top level domain name and cloaks/hides further name information. There are arguments for and against cloaking that may be akin to arguments for and against disclosing your family surname, club name, town name, country etc. There were times when cloaking was said to be frowned upon but hey, it seems pride in one's name has won the day over prejudice!
The internet was founded on an intensely individualistic approach within a global environment. Individual sites with unique identifiers were placed on the world wide web. More and more the benefits of association in one way or another such as by link swapping, directory listing etc are used to boost the visibility of individual sites on the web. As portrayed in the picture above; the shoal of small fish are more likely to be found on the web than a single big fish; a shop in a shopping mall may enjoy more passing traffic than the big conglomerate in an industrial park. So too we have seen the growth of country-coded domains and now trend spotters will see that this hub is but a community-coded domain name.
Domain Name Hypens, Prefixes and Suffixes
The use of hypens to introduce prefixes and suffixes is becoming more of a reality as traditional domain names tend to be taken. There are no guidelines issued by search engines on acceptability but one must bear in mind that search engine "Kudos" relate to ranking, a very important matter but human keyword selection drives the process. So if you were to say want to have the domain name cabernet for the wine that we produced we would find that the domain name:
www.cabernet.com is taken | Availability
www.Vinyard-Cabernet is available as is Think-Cabernet.com  | Use of a Hyphen
www.CoastalCabernet.com is available as is www.AgedCabernet.com  | Use of a prefix
www.CabernetSite.com is available as is CabernetOnline.com | Use of a suffix
When exploring hyphen, prefix and suffix opportunities one should bear in mind the ease of marketing and brandind building. Do not select a name that will be difficult to remember or brand. using prefixes, suffixes and hyphens opens the way to some exciting opportunities to be the answer to match keyword phrases entered by users into serach engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. In this area the concept of keyword density becomes important. If a user entered a keyword phrase in a search engine of " aged cabernet" the keyword density would be 100%. If the user entered only the keyword "cabernet" then the keyword density of our AgedCabernet domain name would be 75& because it has an 8 out of 12 strike rate. The higher the strike rate or keyword density the higher your site will rank in search engine rankings.
We suggest that you employ a few "golden rules" when exploring these opportunities; it must fit the nature of the business; it must render your site as a relevant search result; it must be pleasing to the eye ie have a good look and feel; it must be easy to remember; you must be able to build a brand identity with it.
Domain Acquisition
Registering on this directory and site builder will automatically provide you with a unique internet address in the form of a community-coded address as follows:
Lead by the social networks such as facebook, twitter and the like belonging to a community on the Internet is old news! Yes, facebook offers a community-coded domain name for your facebook page. Years back, having a community-coded internet address was seen by some as being inferior. Being in a physical brick and mortar shopping mall was ok but being in one on the internet was not well understood. Times have changed and the advantages of having a community-coded domain name are many but for those that seek an individual brand identity you can have both, in fact, you can have as many as you like.
Thus the username that you select when you register will be the website folder suffix to your website address. In this way the community address is at the top and your user name is used to uniquely code the domain. Once selected you may not change the username as the databases are hinged upon this selection.
If you want your own top level domain name in addition to the community-coded domain name that we give you, then you need to first build your website and then once built you can acquire a top level domain and point it to the site that you have built. This is an optional extra, it is not required and is a question of preference. To be clear, this process of pointing domain names to websites is not unusual. Every single domain name on the internet is pointed to nameservers that host your website.
Should you require a domain with an international generic domain name extension or a domain with a country-coded domain extension then one may very easily have this by acquiring the domain desired (subject to availability) from a domain registrar. Once acquired you can seamlessly redirect this address to the above domain. You may also acquire a few similar names to protect your brand from the existence of identity similarities. These "extra" domain names would normally be parked with the registrar. Acquiring a domain name and hosting it are two separate matters. See below.
Should you use a third party to acquire your domain for you then it is important that you are registered as the registrant or owner.
We have a PS for the domain brain storming, that so often deserves more attention and that is that you check to see that the name is not a registered trade mark, patent or trade name. If you register a domain name that belongs to another you could lose the right to the name in the future.
The cost of domain names is normally an annual fee. Generic domain names are competitively priced with some country-coded domain names being relatively expensive. Once you have a domain name you need to point it to the place where your website is hosted.
Website and Domain Name Hosting
The provision of a community-coded domain name and the hosting thereof are instantly and seamlessly provided by this hub upon registration. Yes, even your free trial site is instantly registered with your unique community-coded domain name and this is instantly hosted. You do not need to do two seperate things with two separate entities.
The analogy may be that of the domain name being the sign post that you rent on an annual basis and the hosting fee being the monthly rental paid for the piece of land upon which you have erected your sign post.
As we said above, during any free trial period from the moment that your registration is effected you would have secured a community-coded internet address and it together with your site will be hosted on our servers as soon as you respond to the verification e-mail that the system will send to you. So, on average, "instant" may be a minute or two.
The price of internet hosting is normally based on an algorithim that feeds off your file storage size needs and the bandwith that you utilise in sending and receiving information. On this hub these matters are monitored and within broad reasonableness boundries they are ignored in favour of the cost effectiveness of a prepaid fixed monthly charge.
Use of the "click-build" site builder is included in any monthly hosting fee. Community membership fees are detailed at the fees tab at the foot of the home page.
It is common for the large international registrars to enable domain redirection on a cloaked and or uncloaked basis without the requirement that the name be hosted.  Whilst this is the norm with international generic domains it is normal for country-coded domain registrars to require that the domain be hosted by them or by another. Once hosted the name can then be redirected. In both of these instances we suggest that you contact us to assist you if you are in any way unclear on the steps necessary to create a top level domain name for your site.


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