Naming a Website & Redefining Language

Seth offers his new rules for naming, but unfortunately I think some of them are no good.


This means that having the perfect domain name is nice, but it's WAY more important to have a name that works in technorati and yahoo and google when someone is seeking you out.

Sort of a built-in SEO strategy.

is debatable in it's presentation, but this:

So, that was the first task. Find a name that came up with close to zero Google matches.

is absolutely unnecissary.

The concept of needing nearly zero competition to rank is beyond me. If you are creating something of quality over 99% of the competing pages for any phrase are going to be of zero significance.

If your product or service is truely remarkable you should be able to redefine the meaning of language. That is what remarkable people & companies do.

By looking at the number of hits for a word you are just looking at the number of pages that have that term in it. Want a better glance at the competition? Search for the number of pages which have the word in the anchor text and the page title (that tool will be made better & open is still very beta). Even that number does not matter much though.

You really only need to look at the top few results, because those are the ones you will be competing against if you are trying to own the meaning of a word or phrase.

When Nandini named a directory Web Atlas that was a bad call because there are authoritative well established .edu & .gov domains in that keyword space.

When I created Myriad Search, I did not look through the competition at all (in large part because I wanted to create Myriad Search for link popularity and personal use more than for it to spread widely).

In spite of spending under $1 avertising Myriad Search, in the first month the site already ranks at #11 or #12 in Google for the word "myriad" (out of 28,000,000+ results).

You don't really establish a cult status until after many people are talking about your product. People do not search for your product until they heard about it elsewhere.

You shouldn't think of your site starting from zero and every page that has the term you want to rank for as competition. You should compare the quality of your idea to the quality of the top ranking ideas and see if you think it is possible to outrank them based on that.

Also notice how Seth's post title sounding authoritative is more likely to get comments. New rules for naming sounds much more definitive than naming tips & ideas.

Published: October 16, 2005 by Aaron Wall in marketing


Ivan V.
October 17, 2005 - 3:18am

I think what Seth means is that by having a unique name, when people search for *you* in Google, they'll find you faster, unless you want them to fiddle with the spelling and order of the keywords you used on your domain. They key here is when people search for *you* specifically, not for your keywords.

In a world where even the *bad* domain names are being taken fast (SEO-wise), I find his advice right on the money. IMHO, you can sacrifice as a technique for high rankings (and focus on other things like link building), for having a cool, memorable name. Good marketing will take care of the rest.

Just my 2 cents.

October 17, 2005 - 4:37am

Ivan, yes its obvious that Seth means when someone search for "you" and only "you", but never in the post Aaron refers to a style domain, but to the name you want instead of a domain with a new word or a word with 0 competition.

Take for example thats not keywordkeyword domain... most people looking for myriad aren't searching for a MetaSE, but thats the name Aaron wanted.

As you say, the thing is having a cool memorable name, but without worrying about the competition.

Still as a tip, Seth post can be a good idea but not totally necessary.

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