Gary Illyes from Google reiterated that it’s nonetheless greatest for website positioning functions to make use of hyphens as separators in your URLs over utilizing underscores are separators in your URLs. Why? Gary defined “we will not simply section at underscore and that is why we’re recommending dashes.”
This got here up within the newest Search Off The Report podcast on the 17 minute mark or so the place Martin Splitt talked about “That is why brevity for me is essential as nicely. Sure, positive, you need to use a URL shortener, however you then get hyperlinks, like, I do not know, one thing.one thing/8907d12. And I am like, yeah, that is not straightforward to recollect in any respect. But when it is like “mobile-friendly-test” and I can do not forget that. But when it is “mobile_friendly-test” or one thing like that. And it is like “ugh!” However Gary, you mentioned there is a distinction.”
Gary responded saying “There is a distinction and that is in our segmenter. Principally we use some elements of the URL for understanding what the web page is about. And the way in which it really works is that we must be cautious about the place we’re segmenting as a result of many issues on the web, issues that individuals write about have an underscore in them, so we will not simply section at underscore and that is why we’re recommending dashes.”
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Now, there’s a ton of historical past right here on underscores versus hyphens in URLs and what Google has mentioned about them earlier than. In 2007, Matt Cutts of Google instructed us to make use of hyphens / dashes over underscores and clarified that he didn’t say that Google handled them equally. He did in 2017 say he need Google to deal with underscores as separators however did not appear profitable again then. In 2016, John Mueller mentioned underscores vs. dashes would not matter.
So I suppose it nonetheless does matter, as that is the most recent data from Google – that hyphens/dashes are nonetheless beneficial over underscores for phrase separators in URLs.
One large caveat – I might not change established URLs simply so as to add hyphens – that will be a horrible concept.
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