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URL extensions, Hyphen or Underscore?

URL extensions, Hyphen or Underscore?

A Marketing article written by Mick Clarke

A long standing discussion point amongst SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) experts has been URL construction and more importantly whether to use Hyphens or Underscores for best results on the search engines.

Well the clear answer is Hyphens and this confirms what the team at Aspedia has suspected for the last few years and has implemented for our many clients. For those who do not understand the difference between Hyphens and Underscores in domains, firstly here is a domain with a Hyphen;

aspedia.net/web-reviews

and a domain using an underscore would look something like this;

aspedia.net/web_reviews

Google recognises both domains but the domain utilising the Hyphens will have both 'Optimisation' and 'Website' listed and ranked as keywords within the Google pages. If underscores were used then Google will see both words but combine them which would then confuse the ranking positions as the individual keywords are not both optimised and it would be very unlikely that anyone would type in optimisation website to the search engines!

So if you are looking for the best rankings on the search engines then remember the best seperators for search engine optimisation are Hyphens!! Google has recently confirmed this by posting in the webmaster section the following;

"Yah, I'd stick to hyphens, periods, or commas. Most people seem to prefer hyphens. If you use an underscore '_' character, then Google will combine the two words on either side into one word. So bla.com/kw1_kw2.html wouldn't show up by itself for kw1 or kw2. You'd have to search for kw1_kw2 as a query term to bring up that page".