Choosing Domain Names Alphabetically

There was an amusing aspect to the Google Search Engine Ranking Factors version 2 that SEOmoz put out this week. This report compares and contrasts the views of 37 experts in Search Engine Optimization on how Google ranks web page factors in keyword searches. It makes for interesting reading particularly given the consensus that developed on many of the most important factors.

Early in the alphabet is better than being at the end.

One small feature of the presentation is that the experts were listed, not in order of their website domains, but in alphabetical order of their names. More interestingly it was not in order of their family names but rather their first names. With a name like Barry Welford, I have been accustomed throughout my life and particularly at school to be at the end of alphabetical line-ups. If the BPWrap domain name had been used, then this also would have given an early mention in the alphabetical listing as it does in the DMOZ listing of similar websites. Using first names, we came third in the list, which is most pleasing. Of course the real winner was the owner of SEObook. Normally he would be at the back of the line with the other W’s. Aaron Wall came out first in this list. His parents were obviously most astute when they named their baby.

It’s an important consideration in choosing a domain name. There are many listings that are arranged alphabetically. If at all possible, why not choose something that appears early in the alphabet. Indeed if you’re really serious you couldn’t do better than the domain that Chris Winfield has chosen for his website on Search, Design and Social. That’s 10e20.com. You can’t do much better than that.

6 thoughts on “Choosing Domain Names Alphabetically”

  1. Domain name or business name, if not both. Many lists are also organized by business name — I’ve received a fair amount of attention from being on Lee’s search blogs list, largely because “Accessible Web Design” puts me very close to the top of the list. Having it listed under either my name or my URL would have been much less advantageous!

  2. That’s why I posted this, Joe. I most often start with new clients by questioning the company/domain name. However I realize that I don’t often enough think about this alphabetical dimension. It can be really important. In some markets, a small company can be listed above all the industry heavy-weights by choosing the right name.

  3. Barry –

    As a fellow “W”er – I know the pain 🙂

    And yes – where we would be in line (directories then, blogrolls now) was certainly a consideration…

  4. Yes, Chris, you would think we “W”ers would do better naturally on the World Wide Web. Of course that was invented by a “B”er. However I’m sure no one begrudges Sir Tim Berners-Lee all the visibility he rightly deserves.

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