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Underscores are not word seperators in Google


Author Message
GoogleGuy Says

PostPosted: June 27, 2003 10:27 AM 

Importance: Low

It is often debated in the forums whether Google words in file names should be seperated by hyphen or underscores. GoogleGuy confirms here that underscores are not treated as word seperators, rather they are treated as part of the word. (Note: this is not something new, but since I have read many experienced webmasters claim that underscores do count as word seperators, I have given this quote a 'high' importance level, to help get the word out)
GoogleGuy Says: [Link to quote]
I don't consider that a bug--I think underscores are often useful for phrase matches, and I used one in a product search the other day. Dang'ed if I can't recall it now. So I would stay away from both %20 (ugly) and underscore (treated as part of the word) if you want the url to have separate words parsed out from it.


Posts: no

Reply: 1

PostPosted: July 2, 2003 4:24 AM 

Your link to quote doesn't work - i get a 404.

Joe Griffin

Posts: 1

Reply: 2

PostPosted: August 7, 2003 3:10 PM 

What character would be used as a word seperator in the URL?


Posts: 2

Reply: 3

PostPosted: February 20, 2004 6:11 AM 

(Note: this is not something new, but since I have read many experienced webmasters claim that underscores do count as word seperators, I have given this quote a 'high' importance level, to help get the word out).

I just want to confirm that for sure underscores do count as word seperators in Google. I have over 100 pages using underscores in files and they are indexed nicely in Google!

Mark Carey

Posts: 1

Reply: 4

PostPosted: February 20, 2004 4:03 PM 


You are wrong. I have read many webmasters claim this as well, but they are in denial.

There are two main reasons why: 1) GoogleGuy says they don't count (as this quote shows), and 2) there is a proof that demonstrates this:


1. Conduct a search in form of "allinurl:"web design"". This search will return all result with "web design" (including a space) in the URL.

2. I challenge you (or anyone) to find a single result in Google has an URL containing "web_design", (using this example).

If an underscore in the URL counted as word seperator, this type of search will include underscore-seperated key phrases. But it doesn't. :-)


Posts: 2

Reply: 5

PostPosted: February 22, 2004 4:10 AM 

Yes you are completly right :-) now anyway.
I see my pages fade out of Google :-(


Posts: no

Reply: 6

PostPosted: February 22, 2004 9:53 AM 

Yes, this certainly could change (at any time).

However, I forgot to mention - and this one is more subjective - keywords in the URL are generally considered a minor factor for ranking purposes. So minor that many SEO strategies don't bother with them...

Alistair Wiseman

Posts: 5

Reply: 7

PostPosted: September 11, 2004 5:23 PM 

It is unimportant anyway if underscores count or not. I have worked optimising sites for a while, and the url, tho on its own looks good, its the header which is read by the search engine and therefore its relevance is far more important. Whats more, ignore ALL punctuation on the meta header, as search engines hate it. A class example of this is my sons page, which i've advertised and linked to from my own page, used his name with underscores on the url, but only the reference to his full name is picked up on by google and other search engines.

Hope this helps!

Alistair Wiseman

Posts: no

Reply: 8

PostPosted: September 1, 2005 5:48 AM 

:blush: :cry: :roll: :wink: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


Posts: no

Reply: 9

PostPosted: December 1, 2005 7:25 PM 

I write forum software, and CM systems
I conducted the surveys and finally found that google give priority to the page that are not containing underscroes in url e.g.

this one will definitely come first in search even if there is a page like followng of rank 9

Google Guy is 1005 right, but scenario might have been chagned by google, who knows.


Posts: 1

Reply: 10

PostPosted: June 20, 2006 6:16 PM 

hi guys i need your help!
in my country (Romania remember-Dracula and Nadia Comaneci) web design is at the very begining.
can you please give me some advice how i can imporouve my page ranking of this page www.elf.ro -because right now is zero :)
thank you in advance,

eyje? http://www.eyje.com

Posts: xxx

Reply: 11

PostPosted: May 5, 2007 11:23 AM 


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