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This 55 message thread spans 2 pages: 55 ( [1] 2 > >     
Penalty for using hyphen?
for domain and for individual pages
Thaparian




msg:3050125
 4:14 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I read somewhere that if domain is named as keyword1-keyword2 dot com
then google might give that domain penalty.

Does it also applies for sites that names the site pages using hyphens?

For example domain.com/dir/i-love-webmaster-world-forums.php

Also please tell for what reasons google penalises a domain?

I don't have much experience, i apologise if i asked a stupid question.

 

Brett_Tabke




msg:3050138
 4:23 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

In general, the more dashes in a domain name, the less quality the site. All the se guys I have ever asked about it (alot), there is a direct corellation between falling site quality and increasing usage of the dash in a domain name.

"For every dash in a domain, the quaility rating of a site drops by that factor." - Paul Gardi - Teoma/Ask (Pubcon 3/2004 boston). Which was seconded by Tim Mayer of AllTheWeb and Matt Cutts of Google.

souravamant




msg:3050141
 4:27 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Its not like a penalty to the domain, its something considered as bad or spam.

shogun_ro




msg:3050179
 4:58 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not true in my case.

After 27 June falling in SERP for one domain,I register a brand new hiphenated domain key1-key2.com .
It was indexed after 3 days by Google and in present ranks for 20 competitive keywords on page 1 and 2 on Google.
It's just 1 page with 500 caracters text, no external links, no image, just 2 inbound links from 2 PR5 pages.

randle




msg:3050213
 5:17 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sure seems like Yahoo doesn’t like them, these days.

Thaparian




msg:3050416
 6:57 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

My domain name does not contains any hyphens but , all the pages and most directories contains hyphens.

Soometime even 10 in hyphens in one url.

Will google penalise me?

What u experienced guys think?

Should i change the names of all of my pages?

Does underscore "_" have similar troubles?

Thaparian




msg:3050427
 7:03 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Should i renames my pages without - and _?

The name would be like domain.kom/dir/ilovewebmasterworld. php

If i don't use hyphens , then will it effect search engine rankings?

Whats the use of keyword meta tag?
I understand the use of description meta tag though.

walkman




msg:3050434
 7:09 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

not true in all cases, but if they penalized all I'd say that the results would be improved drastically, and still only 2-5% of innocent people effected. I am not suggesting they do so, but I could see Google and SEs leaning towards spam when things are in doubt. Example: If you don't have enough good backlinks, fishy content, you have too many link exchanges, and you have this-many-dashes-com.info you may be asking for trouble.

[b]As far as dashes on the URL (not domain)[b], I doubt it is a problem given that plenty of cms
/have-urls-like-this-one-and-even-longer-like-news.com-has.

Asia_Expat




msg:3051049
 4:48 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use dashes in the url simply to make them easy on the eye when reading. I would consider it stupid to penalise for this.
However, I keep them to a minimum and NEVER use them in a domain name.

buckworks




msg:3051082
 5:21 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's the other stuff you do with a site that makes it spammy, not hyphens in the domain name.

Here's an issue to ponder: in some cases, hyphens add clarity by breaking up letter combinations that have unwanted meanings.

It would be stupid to penalize a business for preferring to promote widgets-express.com rather than widgetsexpress.com.

daveVk




msg:3051207
 7:29 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Underscores in urls are IMHO a bad idea, as underscores are not considered as punctuation, G will not index the individual words between the underscores.

gohome




msg:3051249
 8:14 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wouldn’t it be a bad idea to give a penalty points for using the hyphen? Wouldn’t it have a drastic affect on blogs? Including Google's Blogger pages?

yves1




msg:3051316
 9:47 am on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do not see any problems in Google for the sites I manage with dashes in domain names or URLs. Spamy sites use dashes, but blogs and some CMS too.

On the other hand MSN Search seems to be penalizing (or having problems to crawl) URLs with more than 3 dashes, unless they are strongly backlinked.

Thaparian




msg:3051671
 3:23 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

One last question to conclude the discussion.

Should i name my pages as
1 domain.com/keyword1-keyword2/i-love-web-master-world-very-much. php

Or

2 domain.com/keyword/ilovewebmasterworldverymuch. php

Or

3 domain.com/keyword/webmasterworld. php

Or

4 domain.com/3267326732/653265323276. php

Post ur opinion.

Rainie




msg:3051795
 4:30 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a domain with one hyphen and Google has never had a problem with it. It's my fun site and has survived every update unscathed.

As for your examples, I would go with:

domain.com/keyword/webmasterworld. php

I always keep the page names as simple as possible, especially since the domain has a hyphen, but that's just me. :-)

Bewenched




msg:3051845
 5:00 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree, but how many folders deep should you go.

Example I have a site with 140k items, in about 20 main categories with 900 subcategories between them.

Can you go this deep?

domain.com/maincategory/subcategory/page.html?

Or is that too many deep? It's really too many folders to manage if they aren't under a main category .. can you imaging finding and updating code/pages under 900 subcategory folders? <cringing>

Quadrille




msg:3051847
 5:02 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

thaparian:

Google does not mind hyphens, and they can help in searches.

But the help is very, very small - never enough to justuify renaming existing pages.

Also, multiple hyphens look just plain tacky - don't ask me why, but they do; until that changes,

domain.com/keyword1-keyword2/i-love-web-master-world-very-much. php

Looks cheap and nasty, and is unlikely to get you much business. It may (or may not) be a coincidence that 99% of of c*** ebook sales sites use that system.

Either way, ignore quadrille's law of hyphenation at your peril ;)

"More than one hyphen is the international shorthand for idiot webmaster; More than two hyphens is the Galaxy-wide shorthand for "I'd be a spammer if only I knew how"

(NB I am joking - but only just).

daveVk




msg:3052400
 2:52 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

consider

5 domain.com/keyword1/keyword2/i-love/webmaster-world.php

gives impression of being organized, maybe you have other loves!

walkman




msg:3052402
 3:05 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> domain.com/keyword1/keyword2/i-love/webmaster-world.php

I think that ^ is spammier. Using /dashes-on-your-url-is-perfectly-ok-imo.hmtl

willybfriendly




msg:3052431
 4:25 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, back in 99 or so I got my first domain name. It had a hyphen since I didn't know better and I liked the two words that made up the name broken up. (Something analogous to icecream-shop.tld). It has worked for me for a long time.

I did end up having to get the non-hyphenated version for type-in traffic, since people tend to forget to include the hyphen, but since all the links had been gathered to the hyphenated domain I 301'd the non-hyphenated to the hyphenated.

I would hope that a single hyphen, particularly in an old domain, never draws a penalty :(

As far as folders and files, hyphens are a natural way to keep track of things. Again, within reason, I would hope that doesn't start drawing penalties. Think of a photo album - is it not natural to name folders europe-vacation-06, mexico-holiday-06, etc.? And images buckingham-palace.jpg, big-ben.jpg, etc.?

So, we end up with something like my-travels.tld/europe-vacation-06/buckingham-palace.htm

What some consider spam, others consider intuitive organization.

WBF

unni




msg:3052433
 4:34 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Using hyphen or underscore is not a problem. Only thing is dont overdo it. Even Google has urls like

google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/login?hl=en&utm_campaign=sitemaps-en-about&utm_source=EM&utm_medium=link
google.com/notebook/?utm_campaign=gnb&utm_source=us-et-labs
google-analytics.com

and some major sites

amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_18469201_13/102-0770904-3522563?ie=UTF8&node=172421
download.com/Ad-Aware-SE-Personal-Edition/3000-8022_4-10399602.html?tag=pop

I have a really good experience with this issue. When i created a site in php, i created the urls from the product titles like a-b-c-223.html. Most of the pages were less than 4 hyphens. But only few product names was containing many words and so the urls were upto 10 hyphens. I didnt notice that at that time. So many pages went to supplemental. Recently i found out this problem and redirected the pages to four hiphens with

RewriteRule ^([^/\-]+)-([^/\-]+)-([^/\-]+)-([^/\-]+)-([^/]+)-([0-9]+)\.html$ [domain.com...] [R=301,L]

Within three days i found major changes in crawling pattern and serps, not only in Google but in Yahoo and Msn too.

So in my opinion try to limit it to 3 or 4 hyphens

Thaparian




msg:3052478
 6:08 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

If i name page like example.com/dir/ilovewebmasterworld. php

Will search engines be able to identify the keywords - love, web, webmaster world?

If someone searches for "i love webmaster world" , will i get same rankings if i use hyphens as without using hyphens?

daveVk




msg:3052492
 6:25 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you want individual words index you need punctuation between them such as a hypen or a slash (not underscore) IMHO

Quadrille




msg:3052810
 4:35 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

... otherwise you may find %20 inserted for you; not a key feature of most people's search behaviour ;)

gohome




msg:3053039
 9:23 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK so now I am confused..

Brett says (from other sources) that hyphens can get a pently for the over use of hyphens but when I run a search on: seo url names my first result comes back with 10 hyphens in the url and the 5th result comes back with a url that is 3 directories deep.

Anyone have a Google manual handy?

tedster




msg:3053083
 10:34 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Brett says (from other sources) that hyphens can get a pently

The word penalty does not occur in Brett's post.

first result comes back with 10 hyphens in the url and the 5th result comes back with a url that is 3 directories deep.

But the opening post is about the domain name, not the full url. It is important to engage razor-sharp discrimination today -- the algos are full of subtlety and inter-related factors. Stark black and white rules are often not going to be found.

Do you really think a site like Experts Exchange is being penalized for their hyphen? Heck -- they need that hyphen to keep the adult filters off their back.

Thaparian




msg:3053121
 11:34 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

But the opening post is about the domain name, not the full url.

I also asked about individual pages of site m which means i am also asking for URLs.

My domain name does not contain any hyphen but most of inner pages contain 3+ hyphens , some even 10.

Google is continously crawling my iner pages for the last 5-6 days but those pages never show up, but some of the pages that have been removed from my site with "_" and no hyphen still show up.

Thaparian




msg:3053122
 11:34 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

But the opening post is about the domain name, not the full url.

I am more concerned about URLs.

My domain name does not contain any hyphen but most of inner pages contain 3+ hyphens , some even 10.

Google is continously crawling my iner pages for the last 5-6 days but those pages never show up, but some of the pages that have been removed from my site with "_" and no hyphen still show up.

tedster




msg:3053134
 12:02 am on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Having re-read your post, I see that indeed you were asking about page names -- full urls. This is a constantly debated question, and my experience has not been the same as Brett's (that happens in the SEO game, hard and fast "rules" are not what you get.)

Many news sites employ a CMS that uses the title as the page name with hyphens between the words -- and if the software is unmodified, those page names can have many hyphens, and yet they still rank very well. The page name itself, even keywords within the url, is a minor factor at best. If you are working to get a site well indexed, I think looking in this direction is a red herring. (And yet, going forward, I would still not use 10 hyphens. The most I've ever used is 2.)

Matt Cutts uses blogging software that places hypens in his urls, and if anyone would know about spam penalties on Google it would be Matt. Unless you think he is intentionally misleading people by being a bad example. I don't -- I just think it's no big deal.

Google is continously crawling my iner pages for the last 5-6 days but those pages never show up

It's a good sign that Google is crawling inner pages -- a very good sign. Can you see the disconnect between "5-6 days" and "never"?

gohome




msg:3053181
 1:16 am on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The word penalty does not occur in Brett's post.

Sorry Tedster my wording was incorrect for that.

Anyway...

Thanks for the last couple of posts, I now have a better understanding on what I am looking at here.

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