April 10, 2013
In one of your previous newsletter articles you mentioned "Bed and Breakfasts" as an example and then went on to do what most people would do and abbreviated it to "B&B."
I am looking to start a new website, and want to include "&" in the title instead of "and," which seems to reflect what most people will type. I have seen some recommendations against including an ampersand in a URL; however, it is what I believe most people will type either when searching or when entering the URL directly.
So do I need to work on optimising "and" and "&" and "amp"?
Is the URL still considered significant with Google anyway?
I discussed this briefly a few years ago in response to this question about ampersands and search.
My advice is pretty similar today. The best way to know if you should be optimizing for both the "&" and the word "and" is to do searches using both and see what shows up in the search results. Are the same results showing? If so, then Google is treating them both the same. If not, then look at what the differences are and see if they're significant enough to warrant optimizing for both.
If it is worth it, then all you really need to do is use both forms within the content of the pages (not in the URL because an "&" is used as a parameter there). You could use it both ways in the Title tag or use it one way on one page and the other way on another page. But you definitely don't need to optimize for "amp" because that's simply part of the HTML code for ampersand (&).
Hope this helps!
Jill Whalen has been an SEO Consultant and the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston area SEO Company since 1995. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen
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