Have you ever asked yourself, "What is a domain, anyway?" Well, take a look up there at the top of the screen. See that part at the top of your browser window in the URL bar? It's the part that starts with "https://" in the address bar. The second part of the URL is the domain. In our case, it's freeonlineseoadvice.com. A domain name is a label that identifies a network domain: a distinct group of computers under a central administration or authority. Within the Internet, these names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name. There are 330 million that are registered in the world (2019), and the list continues to grow. Choosing the right name for your website is crucial for your success. If you choose the wrong name, then it can be a hassle to switch later on without hurting your brand and search rankings. That's why it's extremely important that you choose the best domain name from the start.
The dot com or ".com" always has been and still is the most popular domain name extension. This ending is followed by the German .DE Internet code, the Chinese .CN country extension and the generic .NET web address. It is very likely that .CN will surpass .DE shortly. Other very popular extension include .UK (United Kingdom), .ORG (organization), .INFO (information), .NL (Netherlands), .EU (European Union), and .RU (Russia). There are today are several hundred different Internet domain extensions in total.
A subdomain is a word/term that is part of a larger domain; the only domain that is not also a subdomain is the root domain. It is used as an easy way to create a more memorable Web address for specific or unique content with a website. For example, it could make it easier for users to remember and navigate to the picture gallery of a site by placing it in the address gallery.mysite.com, as opposed to mysite.com/media/gallery. In this case, the subdomain is gallery.mysite, whereas the main domain is mysite.com. You can add up to 100 subdomains per domain name. You can also add multiple levels of subdomains. For instance, you can add info.blog.coolexample.com to delve into an even more specific area of interest on your site. Each subdomain can be up to 25 characters long.
The use of dashes – and underscores – in your URL can have some importance, but is it detrimental to your SEO? In any discussion like this, it's generally a good idea to go as close to the source of the concern as possible. In this case, that means looking for any instance where Google, or a representative of Google, has put forth an official perspective on hyphen use in URLs. Google will no penalize you for using a hyphen in your website URL. Misusing a hyphen as part of a spammy URL can earn you a penalty, though, and hyphens have their own sets of problems. One reason some people consider using hyphens is when the domain they want is not available, but a hyphenated version is. At the end of the day, you can use hyphens if you want, but it's generally not recommended if it can be avoided. The hassles are many and there are no actual advantages unless you absolutely need the clarification.