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URL's containing a plus sign instead of hyphen

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-08
Hi All

What experience do we ahve in terms of guidelines for using + signs in URL structures?

Google advises that a Hypen is better than a + here: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=76329

Would you suggest it is worth converting a site URL sturcture to this way?

Regards
Anthony
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Question by:eonic
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3 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Hube02
Hube02 earned 498 total points
ID: 24086337
I would suggest that you go with the - rather than the +. For one thing, google is correct, they are the ones that crawl your site. The second matter is that the + is considered a special character in url query strings and can represent a space in a parameter as in

somepage.php?name=my+name

using a + in your url could cause problems, however, I have not actually tested this so I can't say it is a certain that it will cause trouble.
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
simplyakm earned 501 total points
ID: 24096005
Take a search engine as a human,

for example if you are using a url like following for an about us section for you site.

http://yoursite.com/pageid?=2

or if you use
http://yoursite.com/aboutus

the above is called as a clean url or search engine friendly....

the same thing is with a + and -

Hypen makes more sense and GoogleBot ( Google's Web Crawling Robot Programe) is written like that
so it is good to follow them.

i hope, i answered you...let me know for any other concern
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Tony McCreath
Tony McCreath earned 501 total points
ID: 24096750
spaces and plus signs are best avoided as spaces are often encoded into plus signs. This can confuse.

hyphen is a safe character and helps seperate words.

http://yoursite.com/about us
often becomes
http://yoursite.com/about+us

this is always the same
http://yoursite.com/about-us

and nicer to read (personal opinion)

underscores is another option however they tend to get obscured by underlined links
http://yoursite.com/about_us
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