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We now know from Matt Cutts that hyphens are the preferred delimiters in URLs.
www.widgets.com/bright-new-widgets is better than
But with .htaccess rewrite rules, sometimes you can only have so many hyphens. What other character can also be used in this case?
For example for:
In the above example, since the "news-about" is another variable it needs to be delimited with another character to separate it from "bright-new-widgets"
Is using "plus"(+) an option? Is there another character which is acceptable. I have seen many posts on similar questions asked, but no concrete answers.
I could make another directory like:
but I would prefer not to.
The plus sign should work as a delimiter. One thing I've seen used before is -_- as a delimiter, such as:
You still get the benefit of have hyphen-delimited words, and have a valid delimiter. It's not especially pretty though. You could use a two hyphens to delimit as well, now that I think about it;
But I will switch to - in the future if there is a compelling reason.
There was a point when Google treated hyphens and underscores differently and the hyphen suggestion came from GG a couple of years ago while discusing a topic on this exact issue.
I prefer hyphens as they are more common with the user. Even though that underscore appears right above the hyphen, some just miss the shift key. ;)
Also, from a usability standpoint, underscores become obsured when the web address is viewed as a hyperlink. If you were to print that address out, you may not be able to determine whether that was an underscore or a space.
I've just always found it easier to work with hyphens. It never seemed natural for me to use underscores and that probably comes from my Windows upbringing. You'll find a lot of old timers (Non-Windows Geeks) around here using underscores. ;)