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Underscores, Hyphens


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23 replies to this topic

#1 webvivre

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:06 AM

Recently I read an Article on Google SEO that they no longer parse underscores correctly in file names or directory names.

Which is the best

frenchpropertysales.htm
french-property-sales.htm
or french_property_sales.htm

or even something different?

Does the same apply to directories?

e.g.

/aquitaine-properties/french-property-sales.htm
/aquitaineproperties/french-property-sales.htm
/aquitaine_properties/french-property-sales.htm

Any guidance appreciated....

#2 Gary Bagshawe

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:10 AM

As far as I know ( I read this in another forum)
french-property-sales would be the best approach.
I would also assume that the same goes for directory naming.

#3 Guest_Old-Welsh-Guy_*

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:12 AM

Hiya Web V,

here is some information provided by Google guy that may help

GoogleGuy recommends avoiding URLs on your web site that contain an "id" parameter because "id=" usually marks a session ID. For example, if your web site has page URLs like "www.your-domain.com/index.php?id=xyz", then you should rename the "id" parameter to something else.


He finally clarified the everlasting question whether file names should be separated by underscores ("_") or hyphens ("-"). Now we know that Google does not treat underscores as word separators.


Top level domains, for example .com, .net, .org, etc., are not a factor in Google rankings.

Hope this helps

James

#4 lmsoren

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 06:47 AM

GoogleGuy recommends avoiding URLs on your web site that contain an "id" parameter because "id=" usually marks a session ID. For example, if your web site has page URLs like "www.your-domain.com/index.php?id=xyz", then you should rename the "id" parameter to something else.

Hello forum,

Interesting, but hardly realistic to change URL's after site launch. Using an "id"-variable seems pretty common. I use it myself on my personal site to fetch a given article.

Normally these things are way out of reach to most people using a CMS, unless you have rolled your own. And even then, it would be a radical measure, since that would basically render all bookmarked pages useless.

If anyone has a link or something on this issue, or maybe even a workaround (as if :lmao: ) I'd be most happy!

/lmss (who uses "id" himself)

#5 CLBridges

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:22 AM

(From GoogleGuy..)  He finally clarified the everlasting question whether file names should be separated by underscores ("_") or hyphens ("-"). Now we know that Google does not treat underscores as word separators.

Is anything treated as word separators?? What about the other engines? Not that they really matter all THAT much with Google holding 55+% haha! But times they are-a-changin' so who knows what tomorrow brings?

Thanx! Carrie**

#6 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:50 AM

Welcome webvivre and Gary! :lmao:

Domain names are given very, very little weight with the search engines. It's very easy to get a highly optimized, professionally created Web site to rank higher than a site that simply has a keyword-rich domain name.

Keywords in a domain name (separated by a hyphen) can help if all else is equal, and if others link to your site by it's domain name. Since it seems that other sites often tend to link that way, you do get that benefit.

That said, hardly any of the hundreds of sites that I have top rankings for have keyword-rich domain names. For highly competitive phrases, it certainly can help, but for the average Web site, you're much better off to use a professional sounding domain that is memorable, e.g., your company name.

Too much effort goes into buying keyword-rich domains, and it only serves to help the domain buying industry! :doh:

Jill

#7 Jill

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 10:02 AM

Oops...welcome lmsoren too! :)

Jill

#8 jtaylor

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 06:54 PM

I would have to agree with most of the posters here, I have seen little or no benefit by using domain names that are keyword rich.

All of my top ranking sites have URL's that have nothing to do with the keywords...that said, I am just starting on a site in the Home Loan arena so I may have spoken too soon :-).


James Taylor
www.AICompany.com

#9 Mel

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:24 AM

How about the all too common situation where an external link to your site is simply your url, and in effect your URL becomes the anchor text?

Properly seperated keywords in your domain name does have an effect on your rankings in this case.

FWIW try to search in Google (or eleswhere) for _ and - In Google I get 48,500,000 results for _ and none for -, which indicates to me that Google regards the underscore as a searchable character but not the dash .

#10 jtaylor

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:39 AM

Godo point on the URL issue Mel. Hopefully, most of the links we ask for will accomodate our Link text being sent along with it.

With regard to the hyphens not being recognized as characters, I thought that was the point, that Google treats them as non-entities, which more closly matches a text search.

For instance, if someone searched for "ceiling tiles", and your domain name was ceiling-tiles.com instead of ceiling_tiles.com, I think Google picks the former as most closly matching the search criteria.

not positive on this one but I thought it was covered in the Search Engines Newsgroup a few months back.

did I misunderstand it?


James Taylor
www.AICompany.com

#11 Mel

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 01:39 AM

I believe Google treats the hypen (or dash or whatever) as a character seperator (much like a space), which results in ceiling-tiles looking the same as ceiling tiles to Google.

#12 Matt B

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:19 AM

From a user standpoint, who may also be sending the url to a friend, a hyphen is much more readable than an underscore, especially in linked text.

#13 Scottie

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:23 AM

And you don't have to use the "shift" key.
(I know, lazy lazy)

#14 dabblingmum

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 12:09 PM

Okay I use the underscore when I separate my file extensions on my website, just because it was helping me categorize things since I am new to web design and don't do that /files/filename.htm method. I now have over 200 pages... it's not worth me redoing every page and losing rankings to change them now. sigh

My question is does it hurt to have an underscore or long file name? I know it doesn't help or hurt SEO wise, right?

i.e.:

work_at_home_business.htm

#15 Jill

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 12:33 PM

It won't hurt you, Dabblingmum, and isn't worth changing them, imo.

I rarely use keyword-rich file names or domain names.

Oh yeah, and welcome to the forum! :P

Jill




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