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Traditional domain names consist of a word or phrase that describes a website followed by an extension.  Extensions can be .com, .net or country-based such as .fr or .jp.  So, if this is the case, how can domain names like blo.gs or del.icio.us exist?  It's because a domain name doesn't have to follow a traditional format.  When it is created in the manner demonstrated above, it is called a domain name hack.  With a domain name hack, a domain name spells out a 'word' by using a combination of periods and less popular country-based or state-based extensions.

Now, if you think a domain name hack is a simply a trick created by spammers and/or webmasters with no life, think again.  Yahoo obtained the rights to both blo.gs and del.icio.us, despite their unusual-looking format.  There are also popular organizations that are actually known by domain name hacks.  Examples include who.is, (a site that lets a webmaster know the specifics behind a domain name and their associated website), and whocalled.us, (a site that allows consumers to list the numbers of telemarketers).  Even other countries use domain name hacks in their own languages.  Consider Germany's popular Schokola.de, (which means chocolate in English).

So, does this mean webmasters should consider using domain name hacks?  The answer is it depends.  It is important to remember that while domain name hacks are witty, many of them can be inconvenient for web surfers.  Some may even wonder if the site is legitimate, since the most common extensions are .com, .net, .org and .biz.   However, since there are domain name hacks that still receive a healthy amount of traffic, it is possible that website visitors might overlook how a domain name hack is titled if the site it is pointing to proves to be worthwhile.  There is also the option of having a second more normal-looking domain name point to a domain name hack.  This gives website visitors two ways of being able to access one's website.

How can a person think of a good domain name hack?  First, they need to get a list of all the extensions that are possible with a domain name.  They then need to find a domain name company that sells that sells the extension they are looking for.  Then they will need to think of any word or phrase that includes the letters used in the extension.  But they will need to make sure these letters are at the end of the word, since extensions conclude a domain name.  An exception could be made if a person considers using third-level domains.  In this situation the letters of the extension could be used in the middle of the domain name hack.

If a webmaster finds they are having trouble thinking of a word or phrase that contains their selected extension, they could use a keyword analyzer to help them.  Overture and Google offer keyword analyzers for free, though webmasters might find more use from paid keyword analyzers.  This is because paid keyword analyzers offer more information about a keyword than free ones.

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