By Jill Whalen
I have been getting your newsletter since 5/02 & try to use all your tips. I
have a question that I have never seen addressed & it may be because itís
Does what you name a page (not the ďTitleĒ but the file name) matter to
search engines when they crawl a site?
In other words, I can name a page without underscores like this:
Öor use underscores like this:
My real question is do the underscores have an impact on how the spider
crawls the site or are long file names better? Iím thinking it doesnít
matter but would like to be sure. Iíve been trying to name my pages
(filename & title) with a relevant keyword but sometimes itís difficult.
Also does a file name have any impact with ranking at all?
File names in general donít have much effect on rankings, contrary to what
many people think. However, if you do want to use keywords in them, youíd
want to use a dash, not an underscore. Underscores are treated as a
character and not a space, and therefore the words in your file name would
not be parsed (read separately) by the search engines if they were to try to
read them. (Note for readers: Please donít write me and say that Google
highlights words separated by an underscore in the search results, so they
must parse them. Highlighting is highlighting and not the same thing as
actually parsing the words.)
We have lots of previous articles on this topic in the newsletter archive, on the forum,
and in the SEO FAQ. Also, I plan to do an updated article on this topic as soon as I have the chance because this question is one that is asked at least 3 times a day at the forum!
Whatever you do, donít change your existing file names just to add a keyword
phrase, because that would simply cause more problems than it would solve.
Hope this helps!