seo file naming convention

please let me know out of the below options which is the best file naming convention for seo benefits?

options :

1. real-estate.html
2. real_estate.html
3.realEstate.html  - specifically anything wrong with this naming convention? small case for first keyword and Upper case for the next keyword
codelevelAsked:
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Loganathan NatarajanLAMP DeveloperCommented:
I see
" real-estate.html"

Open in new window

is good practice and most of the websites does this way.  It must be simple and pretty structure to understand by SE's.
Henry DawsonCommented:
Hi user….

This is a very good question & has been debated for a long time between using hyphens & underscores. So, the answer is use hyphens instead of underscores.

Actually, the main fact behind this is that if your URL consists real_estate.html, then Google considered it as single word & return the searches in response of real_estate only (which almost users never searches)

But, if your URL has  real-estate.html, then Google treated it as two words & returns the result in the following queries:
real-estate
real
estate
real estate

This shows that using hyphens instead of underscores gives more weightage to the URL & also a good SEO trick.

In Short, we can say hyphens treated as a word separator & the Underscores are treated as a word joiner.

The question for the second query is regarding capitalization. Is it good to use capital letters in URLs.
So, the answer is No. It’s a good practice to avoid using capital letters in URLs.

Follow this link for proper information on capitalization of URLs: http://wiredimpact.com/blog/never-use-capital-letters-urls/

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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
The best would be all lower case and one word realestate.html.  

Just fyi, you can call your page realestate.html or giberish.html and get just about the same seo.  What counts today is well written, unique, compelling content that is consistently added to.   Actually the best would be mysite.com/realestate/

I'm not discounting that every little thing helps, but today you naming your page realestate.html vs a competitor with some_goofy_name.html is going to mean very little.  If your page talks about real estate, links to multiple pages about different aspects of real estate, your content is well written, compelling to the point it is used as a reference, you will get the seo no matter what your domain name or page name is.

Real estate is very competitive and if you are in a high density area or suburb of a good size city it is going to be tough to stick out.   Most realtors are cheap when it comes to spending marketing dollars.  Convince your client to hire a writer and post real estate content every week (don't let them think they can do this on their own, they will not).  That alone will not work, all PR and Advertising will also come into play.

If you have 50 great pages and your competitor has 5 but your competitor spends $$$ on local public relations and advertising and makes their name known they will come out ahead.  The reason is people will google their name to get to their page. That becomes a "vote".  Perhaps your competitor also has 4 and 5 star reviews because they ask their clients to review and you don't.

The main point is there are so many things that go way beyond what you call your page name. Today it is trivial.  Content and your marketing is what will make the difference.
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codelevelAuthor Commented:
thanks for all the great answers.
one clarification related to the above question.
how will the search engine treat the words that are next to each other, does it know to combine?
for example if i want a particular name say "john peter" (first name and last name) to come up in google, how do i let the search engine to combine both the keywords and consider?
Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
If you are asking how does somebody in CA find John who is from NY and wants to be known through out the world is much different than John who is a local realtor and is on every local committee and has his own site with a bio as well as all the typical realtor sites.  

For John the realtor, his own site, bio etc will do the trick.  For the unknown New Yorker that is just trying to get his name out throughout the world... PR and Advertising.
James WilliamDigital Marketer and SEO AnalystCommented:
real-estate.html

Open in new window

is the right way of optimizing URL's for SEO purposes.
I thought that you knew some SEO auditing tools, Please do check you URL and it will give you clear idea about all On page SEO factors.
I think only Wikipedia having underscores(_)  in their URL's.
Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
Google's Guidelines say use dashes, not underscores. They also explicitly state that you should not combine words together as well.

Consider using punctuation in your URLs. The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.

Also, regarding this question:
3.realEstate.html  - specifically anything wrong with this naming convention? small case for first keyword and Upper case for the next keyword

This is commonly referred to as camelCase. There is nothing wrong with it. However, if you follow Google's guidelines, you won't use it.
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