To some extend in my experience.
Navigational structure and site/page theme are way more important though.
However, if folder and file names compliment, reflect a strong theme they can only be helpful.
It should be your better business concern anyway to build sites that way as opposed to a rather undefined and unclear structure and non-existent naming convention.
Makes little difference.
Keyword in the URL might be a bit better but we use the 12345.htm system on one of our sites and it does just fine.
GoogleGuy said this on the Brandy update part2 thread yesterday.
"The example I like is [cert advisory]. We can give more weight to www.cert.org/advisories/ because the page has both "advisory" and "advisories" on the page, and "advisories" in the url."
I've also found that using the Adsense preview tool I can get relevant ads to apge if the URL has relevant terms in it. I'm told by those who know much more than me about this that once the adsens robot has spidered your site this is less important. I'm pretty sure that it will continue to have some influence but how much, who knows. On balance I think that it is better to have meaningful URLs if you can.
Should you use synonyms or stems of your target words though? I don't know but I think that its worth researching and testing.
Not the most important thing in the world but it does make a lot of difference. 43298.html is just a waste. The page can still rank well due to other algorithm ingredients, but why intentionally hurt yourself. If a page is about widgets, name it widgets.html
At my case url is quite important, I tried several variations of urls and the keyword url is doing the best.
If I can I always use keywords in the url, any site I design from the ground up will have keyword urls.
a word / descriptive folder and page name can also encourage clicks from the SERPs.
if a page was:
which is more likely to get a click.
Of course description / title tags matter in this instance but you should aim to provide as much of an indication to the spider and the searcher about the page content.
One other advantage is expandability. For example if there is a path www.example.com/wars/iraq/ and if I am a visitor and want to check out the war material on Iran, without going through sitemap or other navigational tools, I can easily replace the "q" by "n" or if I am looking for sports in Korea, replace the wars/iraq/ by sports/korea/ as a guess and so on. Same goes with adding material to one's own sites.
One comment here. You DO NOT want to use:
You should use:
Google doesn't interpret an underscore as a word delimiter, but does interpret a hyphen that way. Thus, never use underscores in URLs.
We use the search terms as hyphonated page names and it is extremy helpful in gaining good results!
|Thus, never use underscores in URLs. |
All DMOZ clones use underscores in their URLs and that doesn't keep them out of the SERPs. ;-)
Googleguy stated way back that he preferred the hyphen over the underscore. I don't know if that has now changed
debate with Google.
So it's misleading to write that anyone is sure about this. They both have the same intention - commonsense would suggest that Google understands both.
>So it's misleading to write that anyone is sure about this. They both have the same intention - commonsense would suggest that Google understands both.
I consider the fact GoogleGuy stated that hyphens are better to be material. When in doubt, choose the alternative that seems best.
And, something else occurs to me. If someone were to show me conclusive evidence that Google treated the hyphen and underscore the same, there is still the issue of other search engines. Google ain't the only game in town. If Google treats hyphens and underscores the same, I wouldn't want to use underscores and cross my fingers that in the forthcoming new msn.com search engine, this won't treat hyphens favorably. Good SEO involves designing for a wide number of search engines. Hyphens are clearly the safer choice.
on hyphen vs underscore...
can I just use space? For example domain.com/Amazon widgets/
Does it work?
>can I just use space? For example domain.com/Amazon widgets/
That URL is in invalid syntax. A space not encoded is NOT valid for use in URLs.
|>can I just use space? For example domain.com/Amazon widgets/ |
That URL is in invalid syntax. A space not encoded is NOT valid for use in URLs.
If you are using a visula design package some of them encode the space. I have seen these in the index but clearly its not good practice.
There is some evidence that google is able to separate the tokens in a URL so bluewidgets may be nearly as good as blue-widgets. I always think its best to hold Googles hand and make the words separate with the hyphen though.
|Not the most important thing in the world but it does make a lot of difference. 43298.html is just a waste. The page can still rank well due to other algorithm ingredients, but why intentionally hurt yourself. If a page is about widgets, name it widgets.html |
Agree on that one! But I think we all forget the branding part of it and the CTR/conversion. If I have to choose between '43298' or 'widgets' when looking for widgets gues my first option... ;)
Don't make me think! (like Steve Krug said in his great book...)
|brotherhood of LAN|
agrees with rfgdxm1
the underscore is highlighted as part of the "word", the rest are treated as non-word characters (i.e. a space)
// Though on a second inspection, & seems to be treated the same, but I doubt you can put that in a URL path anyway :)
It does mind a lot.
My competitor tricked Google using:
Being that a redirection to www.widgets.com and until I did the same with:
He was right above of me.
I guess RFXDM is right - the hyphen is the correct syntax in domain names, so I guess it is logical to treat them the same for the whole URL.
I can't believe how out of control spamming is getting. I just saw a site with a domain of :
First of all, the site looks awful.
Secondly, they created over 100 domains all with this formula. They rank higher for my geographic-specific keyword than my site. Due to the fact that they spammed and cloaked and took advantage, they are being rewarded for their efforts.
Report it? When you search in Google you find below a link saying "unsatisfied with Search results"? Clearly explain your finding and that this does not make the outcome better.
OK guys, about to test this one. I have a small site which has all the files and folders with underscores between words.
It currently ranks 72 in google.
I'll just make a quick change....
They now all have hyphens. I'll let you know what happens.
Adsense definitely seperates out the words in bluewidgets.html into blue widgets.
This thread says that it happens in normal serps now: [webmasterworld.com...]
>>I always think its best to hold Googles hand and make the words separate with the hyphen though
Agree - when searching Google for allinurl:kw1 kw2 I find no results with an underscore.
Use hyphens to separate keywords in filenames or directories. Do not use underscores. It's very easy to prove that Google considers the hyphen a word separator, but not the underscore. All you have to do is to find some links that Google lists as a URL only, but has not indexed. These links will show the URL as the title, but no snippet. It means that the page is not in the index at all, but merely got "noticed" by the crawler.
You need two examples -- one of these that uses underscores and another that uses hyphens. You will discover that you can hit on the hyphen link by searching with spaces between your search terms. But the only way to hit on the underscore link is to use underscores in your search -- which no one ever uses.
I believe, that x1,x2 and x3 are very important factors... just look Polish spammers 4 example...
>I guess RFXDM is right - the hyphen is the correct syntax in domain names, so I guess it is logical to treat them the same for the whole URL.
Let me put it this way. Can anyone argue, based on actual evidence, that using anything other than hyphens is *superior* for search engine purposes than using hyphens? I always use hyphens. I see no good reason to change that policy.
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