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%20 in url as good as - for SEO ?

Posted on 2006-10-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Hi,

Apart from the aesthetic, is "%20" in a url a disadvantage compared to the "+" character
 and is it worth try to mod_rewrite it to the "-" character.

Thanks

macuser
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Question by:macuser777
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humeniuk earned 300 total points
ID: 17808456
%20 is the encoded version of a space, so 'this%20that' is 'this that'.

The answer is that a hypen is preferred for SEO.  (For more info see www.seo-blog.com/keywords-in-urls.php and the update www.seo-blog.com/url-update.php)

If you use correct directory and file names, though, you shouldn't have to rewrite these ... unless I'm missing something.
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by:scotphil
ID: 17811370
"The answer is that a hypen is preferred for SEO."

I'm amazed that anyone can specifically make that statement....

For example.....take a look at just about "any" google resource page...it's created exclusively with underscores....

since "nobody" really knows that hyphens work better than underscores....(unless you work internally with G or Y or M).....it might be best to give both sides of the story...

There are arguments for and against both methods....some have great success with underscores, some have great success with hyphens...the rule of thumb (IMO) is to stick with whatever method you start out with...

changing in midstream can be a killer to your site, due to the fact that you are actually creating a brand new page name, losing whatever ranking the other page name format gained...

Just my $0.02
Thanks!

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Expert Comment

by:scotphil
ID: 17811387
Forgot to add.... 8-)

Since your starting with spaces....its really a coin toss as to which way you want to proceed on your nameing convention....

I'm casting (1) vote towards underscores..... 8-)

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Author Comment

by:macuser777
ID: 17811424
Hi,

I rememebr an old answer her ethat was pretty definitive on the - being better than _   . It might even have been form humeniuk.

Anyhow, the answer is

>The answer is that a hypen is preferred for SEO.

So thanks all and points to humenik.


macuser
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 17813192
>> "The answer is that a hypen is preferred for SEO."
>> I'm amazed that anyone can specifically make that statement....

scotphil -

I am an advocate of sketpicism in general.  When it comes to SEO info on the web, a good dose of skepticism is absolutely required.  However, there is ample documentation that Google, for one, sees hyphens as dividers, but not underscores.  If you take a close look at the experiment outlined at the link I gave above, you will get a more detailed overview of how and why.


"since "nobody" really knows that hyphens work better than underscores....(unless you work internally with G or Y or M).....it might be best to give both sides of the story..."

Ok, so what does Senior Google Engineer Matt Cutts recommend?  Hyphens, not underscores - www.mattcutts.com/blog/dashes-vs-underscores/


"...the rule of thumb (IMO) is to stick with whatever method you start out with...
changing in midstream can be a killer to your site, due to the fact that you are actually creating a brand new page name, losing whatever ranking the other page name format gained..."

My '$0.02' on this is that SEO is an ongoing process and you should absolutely make upgrades to your site and optimization on an ongoing basis.  There are always ways to support your changes, ie. if changing the name of a page that has multiple good incoming links, you can use a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page and preserve your ranking.


The underlying point that you should question what you read about SEO and that are numerous remaining issues in SEO about which there is no consensus remains valid.  This simply isn't one of them.  Hypens are better than underscores.
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