you will see Matt Cutts' presentation on Google Search Website Optimization. Messages: 15 Likes Received: 0 Best Answers: 0 Trophy Points: 0 #1. The important thing to know is that: Hyphens are allowed in domain names themselves, as well as subdomains and subfolders. For example, a URL containing the phrase "my_page" would be … Therefore, in … Mercedez Benz also decided to use the hyphen for their domain: One of the deprecated ranking factors was exact match domains (where your brand name or main target keyword and domain name had to match). Generally won't have as … Hyphenated URL containing keywords are definitelty good for SEO with a few exceptions. It is hard enough for users to try and remember one hyphen. Page 1 of 2 1 2 Next > aspotism Peon. I do so primarily for the benefit of my users. So there is no harm in using dashes in your URLs. In this case, ‘blog’ is the sub-page. Should a domain include special characters like hyphens or underscores? It is probably one of the most frequently discussed topics on SEO forums around the web and is often one of the first questions asked by new webmasters. It would be weird if the second-level domain was: https://www.seoptimer.com/blog/websitechecklist/. What is better, a hyphen in a url or not? The last part of a domain name is what is referred to as a Top-level domain (TLD) (as in .com in www.abc.com). In other words, it can affect click-thru-rates and therefore traffic. There’s no negative impact on domain names that use dashes. Thread starter djbaxter; Start date Nov 27, 2007; Nov 27, 2007. Here are the SEO facts and arguments that we used to agree with or disprove the propositions brought forward: Using hyphens should be avoided at all costs. "Trustworthy Productions" vs "Trustworthy Effective Movies". Use readable words in your URL structure, not a long string of numbers. Replace it with a dash or concatenate it. As you can see, hyphens have been used after the slash after the second-level domain. It is probably one of the most frequently discussed topics on SEO forums around the web and is often one of the first questions asked by new webmasters. Deciding on a domain name is one decision where usability benefits almost always outweigh the SEO benefits. With that being said, however, it's generally not good practice to use spaces in URLs (%20). URLs without hyphens are not always so easy to read if youcramthewordstogether. Hyphens and underscores in URLs: Are they treated the same? For the sake of this post let's say the two names are. Using hyphens makes domain names seem untrustworthy and less credible. What your domain should include or not include has been an ongoing discussion among brands, webmasters and marketers. Hyphens are separators between words, most other punctuation is also replaced with hyphens, but no more than one hyphen between words, and no hyphens leading or trailing the url. I have 2 words in the URL, so lets say for example the words are "Free games". Just make sure that the URL does not appear spammy. Try not to be spammy. That way, you will not risk someone else buying the non-hyphenated ones and having your traffic being redirected to their site. 7 Tips for Creating a Good URL Structure. So having hyphens in the URL doesn’t really hurt the user experience in any way… it only helps by making the URL more readable. Choose a URL that describes the page and gives people a reaso… There are times when using hyphens is necessary, for example, if your actual brand name contains it. If you are trying to make your site as SEO friendly as possible and you post something all about golf tips for example it would be useful if the url or address uses hyphens or dashes. Will using a hyphen and doing "free-games.com" damage my SEO, Rankings or anything? Putting the two schools to the test: do hyphens impact SEO? It will help your brand to stay consistent. Their domain is hyphenated, just like their brand name is. I agree I'm being a bit broad, but I would argue that in general, if you can convert URLs with unique content (vs. the very fine and useful usecase of linking to elements in a page) to use non-hash, static, more readable URL formats, it's a better idea. The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by aspotism, Feb 23, 2005. You can often see URLs like www.example.com/sub_folder/ that work just fine. Yeah! If you need to use a hyphen in your domain name (for example best-chef.com), make sure that you purchase the non-hyphenated version (bestchef.com) and redirect it to your hyphenated version. And that is when you are marketing your domain name by word of mouth. The recipient is highly likely to forget to use the hyphens when entering your domain name. Forums . In short, make it virtually impossible for online surfers not to … (Leave them open after a noun, however.) May pose some recall issues as people are generally used to domains without hyphens. You can read it in detail here. Since search engines typically display your URL as part of your organic listing in the search engine results pages (SERPs), a keyword rich URL can give users strong clues about what they can expect if they click on your link. This will signal to Google where the breaks between words are, and make it easier for your visitors to understand URLs than if the words all ran together. Hyphens can and should be used for pages and folders of the website. Of all of the URLs on your site, the one URL that a user is most likely to remember is the home page URL… in other words, the domain name. Using hyphens makes your brand look spammy and this makes users have a negative brand perception. I usually try to select domain names with usability in mind. Some phrasal adjectives (including “civil rights,” “stock market,” and “high school”) don’t require hyphenation when they appear before a noun; they’re so well entrenched in the language that no risk of ambiguity exists, and their status is enshrined by inclusion in dictionaries.But when two words team together to describe a noun, they’re usually hyphenated. It is much easier to tell someone to go to “we rock your web dot com” than it is to try to get them to remember “we hyphen rock hyphen your hyphen web dot com” Chances are they will forget the hyphens, insert them in the wrong place, or not know what a hyphen is to begin with. A note about top-level domains and sub-pages. So I thought I would do what any red-blooded SEO would do… and toss out my opinions on the topic. Underscores are not allowed in domain names, but are allowed in subfolders. Ok I found this last night while doing more research on Google rankings. 10 Ideas to Grow Your Digital Marketing Agency in 2021, How to use Video Sales Letters (VSL) in your Sales Process, Digital Agency Founder Interview: Pearl Lemon – Deepak Shukla, How to create perfect SEO Reports for Clients, Digital Agency Founder Interview: WebMarketers – Kyle Smendziuk, Digital Agency Series Podcast: Verz Design – Henry Ng, 15 Step Website Audit Checklist (& PDF Template), SEOptimer Shortlisted for 2020 SaaS Awards – Best Digital Marketing Tool, The Ultimate Guide to your Digital Marketing Audit (with PPTX Template), The Simple Guide to Starting an SEO Business, Professional Development Plan Template (with Completed Examples). How bad is it to have a hyphen in your URL? www.sub-domain.domain-name.com/sub-folder-1/ is a perfectly valid URL. But what most don’t realize is that they will ONLY get a noticeable boost in rankings when the domain name is an EXACT match for the search phrase. It is okay to use hyphens in second-level domains. The Dark Art Of Search Engine Optimization. We also discuss whether they have any effect on your site’s SEO. silktide did an SEO challenge where they used 3 different domain names and web sites and saw if nonsensical content or real keyword rich content would rank better. Here’s the most important thing you will ever hear in regards to your site’s URL structure: it should be as simple as possible.Of course, the word simple means something different to everyone. I am typically a strong advocate of NOT using hyphens when selecting a web site’s domain name. ... good luck. Domains that only provide a partial match for the search phrase typically yield no more of a boost than having the same partial match to keywords in the folder or page name portion of the URL. While we have come to the conclusion that hyphens need to be avoided, it is important to note that this only applies to domains. Google treats and underscore as a word joiner — so red_sneakers is the same as redsneakers to Google. 3. This sends signals to search engines that your site is low quality. Go for a short, simple, catchy and easy to remember domain name. In this article, we look at whether hyphens should be used in domain names, taking into consideration the different sentiments. Some common TLDs include .gov, .edu, .biz, .com, .net, .org, with .com leading the rest in popularity. So keyword rich domain names containing multiple keywords (with or without hyphens) are going to boost your rankings for at most a couple search phrases – “keyword1keyword2keyword3″ and “keyword1 keyword2 keyword3″. When using hyphens, don’t make things worse by using double hyphens, or using a hyphen as a prefix or suffix to your domain name. Should a domain include special characters like hyphens or underscores? In fact, search engines are able to understand hyphens and perceive them as spaces (as confirmed by Google’s Matt Cutts in this blog post on the subject of dashes and underscores). I would, however, suggest keeping folder names short so that they have one, maybe two, hyphens at most. For page names on the end of a URL I don’t worry so much. In this article, we look at whether hyphens should be used in domain names, taking into consideration the different sentiments. They make the URL easier to read and more user-friendly. Having hyphens in the folder or page name portion of the URL does make the URLs harder to remember and type. This link is a blog post on our site: https://www.seoptimer.com/blog/website-checklist/. The short answer is that you should use a hyphen for your SEO URLs. For example buy-WidgetB-Cheap.com would actually have a negative effect on SEO, as it might be seen as an attempt at SERP spamming. In the video on this page, "Should I use underscores or hyphens in URLs? As far as SEO is concerned, marketers knew that Google may penalize URLs for the use of hyphens, which is not explicitly denied, as Matt Cutts – a senior software engineer working in Google – declared in a post. Google treats a hyphen as a word separator, but does not treat an underscore that way. ... You can’t include spaces in a URL, so SEO best practice is to use hyphens to separate words. While it likely doesn’t make any noticeable difference from an SEO perspective, having hyphens in a URL’s folder and page names certainly doesn’t hurt your rankings in the SERPs, and provides a benefit to users. Image from SXC.hu. It is also known as a domain name extension. Yeah! Does having special characters negatively impact my SEO? Hyphens in URLs: Good or bad for SEO? Why using hyphens instead of underscores in your URLs is good? I currently have a new URL www.blue-widgets-for-you.com There are three hyphens in it. Is that too many ? Below is an example of two alternatives: He discusses the use of underscores or hyphens used in website links and how their use is treated by the Google Search feature. Having a short domain name without hyphens also makes it easier to speak your domain name when telling others about your site. One of the stuff you should be doing is using hyphens instead of underscores. Having more than one hyphen too will make it difficult for your users to remember as in www.female-body-building.com. We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of … So hyphens in URLs can be good or bad from an SEO and user perspective. For the purposes of this example, we’ll assume your company is called ‘Smith Widgets’ and you use Smith-Widgets.com as your domain name. Tweet If you’d like to separate words in your URL use dashes or hyphens, instead of underscores. Learn more about top-level domains here. Hi Tomas - fair points and good additions. A sub-page or sub-folder is basically what comes after the TLD. As much as they do not directly affect SEO, you need to have a credible brand. When you are making URL links on your website, there are certain things you should always do to help your website visibility on major search engines. Google views hyphens in URLs as word separators while an underscore in your url will not be recognized. Does having special characters negatively impact my SEO? Oh, I’ve Heard Of That Before !! Hyphens: (good-domain.com) Homonyms: (suite-domain.com) Abbreviations (2cool-domain.com) You get the general idea. People frequently ask whether or not using hyphens in a URL is good or bad for SEO. … This does not by any chance make your domain unique. Using them makes it easy for search engines to match keywords in the URL to keywords in the search phrase. A site with no backlinks will be seen as low quality by Google. It is a part of your brand that will stay with you for a long time. Here to help, verify, explain, cross-examine the wonders of search engine. ... Block Bad URLs with Robots.txt. If a user misses even a single hyphen when typing your brand name, they are highly likely to end up on your competitor’s site or web page. Harder to advertise on radio or through word of mouth. © SEO? Use hyphens in your folder and page names to increase readability and click-through-rates in the SERPs, but avoid using them in your domain names. And that can still cause confusion because it isn’t clear whether the hyphen is part of the URL or was added to hyphenate the paragraph. So it is important to make it as easy to remember and type as possible. 2011. I try to select domain names that are: Having hyphens in the domain name portion of the URL is counter-productive to all three of the above usability goals. Webmasters and budding SEOs get hung up on having keywords in their domain name, which is one big reason for the proliferation of domains with hyphens. Also, every search engine that I am aware of treats hyphens in the URL as word separators. Dash in Domain Name: Is a Hyphen or Dash Good or Bad? Is it ok if I do "free-games.com" the domain "freegames.com" is inactive but parked. It is probably one of the most frequently discussed topics on SEO forums around the web and is often one of the first questions asked by new webmasters. Backlinks are an important ranking factor for your site as they are a vote from other sites that your site is authoritative and has high-quality content. 0. This school of thought argues that hyphens should be used as part of domain names. I also do it to give the search engines a hand by explicitly indicating how they should parse my URL’s folder and file names into their targeted keywords. Once other webmasters note that your site looks spammy, they will not link to it. Note the quoted section: Jonah Stein If your nicesly aged, non-hyphenated domain name contains your primary keyword, your 25% of the way to the top...10. This means using hyphens makes it much easier for Google to figure out what a page is about. Tweet Avoid being penalized for duplicate content by blocking search engines from indexing multiple URLs to the same content and other problematic URLs. hyphen in url. This will be a site with cracks etc Negative brand perception will result in high bounce rates as many people will begin to leave your site within a very short time. 6. There is one undisputed argument for non-hyphenated domains. All these questions have been asked over and over and different schools of thought exist to try and settle the matter. They used three different domain names: — frictionlessowls.com – site had content rich with relevant keywords. ... “Yeah, it was good. We will then come to a fact-based conclusion on their use or lack thereof. But how often do you really think a user is going to remember the entire URL to some inner page 3 levels deep in your site and actually type it into the browser address bar? Here are a few URL strategies to employ: 1. You use a keyworded title and good keyword placement in your post. Remove stop words. This could see your site’s rank decrease significantly. Hyphens in URLs: Good or Bad for SEO? Hyphens are definitely a good idea. When a user is told about your business or domain name by a friend, for example, the friend will have to belabor the point that the domain name includes hyphens. Hyphenated domains are difficult to remember and talk about. Using hyphens in the URL to explicitly separate words in the folder and file names makes it VERY easy for a user to read the words in the name of your folders and pages. All words are lower case. A long standing debate is whether or not hypens in domains are a good thing or a bad thing. Yeah! People frequently ask whether or not using hyphens in a URL is good or bad for SEO. This is quite common since most blog themes and templates convert the post title to a page name by replacing spaces and punctuation with a hyphen. We could look at it as an expansion of the second-level domain. The TLD is the most vital part of the domain name. Thread starter #1 djbaxter Tazmanian Veteran . Hi. I'm an experimentalist, researcher, recording every step of how to rank number 1. Here are the reasons why: Here are the arguments brought to the fore by people in this school of thought: After looking at each of the sides, we decided to put each of their ideas to the test. I like using hyphens as word separators within folder and page names in the URLs of my sites. Joined Jun 6, 2006 Messages 10,485. So I thought I would do what any red-blooded SEO would do… and toss out my opinions on the topic. SEO For The Big Three (Google, Bing, Yahoo) !! Negative brand perception will make it difficult for your site to get backlinks too. But even if you stop targeting URLs with hyphen: auto, they may still break if they contain hyphens. People frequently ask whether or not using hyphens in a URL is good or bad for SEO. You usually see it after clicking a specific link on a site, for example, another page as in www.abc.com/blog. As mentioned, it really doesn't matter from a search engine perspective. 2. Disadvantages of hyphenated domain names. Other problematic URLs and over and different schools of thought argues that hyphens should used... Into consideration the different sentiments with cracks etc in the URL to keywords in the or... As well as subdomains and subfolders Google search website Optimization marketing your domain name to have a new URL There... Have one, maybe two, hyphens at most these questions have been over. 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Post on our site: https: //www.seoptimer.com/blog/website-checklist/ is okay to use them wisely you’d like separate! Urls of my sites useful to us than http: //www.example.com/greendress.html There’s no negative impact domain! A bad thing treated the same content and other problematic URLs matter from a search engine I. ( 2cool-domain.com ) you get the general idea will see Matt Cutts ' presentation on Google.! No negative impact on domain names themselves, as it might be seen as attempt!
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