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Best URLs for Static Pages

/dog-bones.html or /dog_bones.html or /dogbones?



4:07 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm creating a new site with rewritten static pages. Whats everyones opinion on the best url to pick?

example: If I am targeting the keyphrase "dog bones"
I could name the page...

[edited by: msgraph at 3:29 pm (utc) on Aug. 8, 2005]
[edit reason] example'd urls [/edit]


4:14 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have had better luck with /dog-bones.html over the others.


4:30 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

dog-bones.html better than dog_bones.html


2:50 pm on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hmm.. I guess I'll try the dash then. Thanks guys


4:09 pm on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It absolutely does not matter. I get the same results with all three.


8:26 pm on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

what about this (? ) :

what is better?


[edited by: msgraph at 9:31 pm (utc) on Aug. 8, 2005]
[edit reason] example'd urls [/edit]


10:48 pm on Aug 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

dog-bones(with dash) means two words "dog and "bones" and therefore all the following search keywords will work with your domain or file name
"dog bones"

however dog_bones(with underscore) is one word and will only work for one keyword
"dog bones"

Therefore dash will give you more exposure to more keywords and is better....


10:50 pm on Aug 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

coming to your original question
is the best option as it has all the keywords once which is enough to get the credits for "keywords in URL"


10:57 pm on Aug 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think that, in theory, example.com/dog-bones.html would be the best choice from the options offered; but I also think that, in practice, it won't make a whole lot of difference.

The notion of "over-optimization" comes to mind... Just try to be natural! (As cynics say: "Once you can fake *that*, you've got it made.")


12:56 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Slightly off-topic, but in relation to this. I have several pages that have been around for a few years. Scoring pretty good in SERPS (between nr 1 and first page), BUT, the naming is suboptimal. It uses dogbones.html instead of dog-bones.html.

I want to change the name of the files, but am afraid that renaming the URL's will affect my position in the SERPS negatively (mainly in Google, getting a PR0 instead of the current one).

How do I rename those URL's without the risk of affecting my positions in the wrong way? I know I could use RedirectPermanent, but lots of spiders and search-engines don't support it properly. And if I update the links on the site in question, I'm afraid search-engines will see the renamed pages as new ones instead of moved ones....


1:02 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Orange_XL, if the pages are fully indexed and performing well, don't rename them. The advantage you might gain is marginal, but the risk of the pages disappearing into an abyss for six months or more is significant. Work instead on other factors: keyword density, inbound links, in-site linking, whatever, just don't touch the file names!


4:01 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

@encyclo: The thing is, there is not much more I can do (without getting unethical). Some extra inbound links would be welcome, but that is about it. And looking at other search-engine's, some really do appreciate good naming of pages.


1:28 pm on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Orange_XL, I "feel" you should keep the names unchanged. If you change them to follow a trend for some SE, nobody can assure that trend will not change in 3 or 4 months. The risk is to frustrate the job you did until today.

If your contents already follow the good rules, istead of over-optimize the site, it's better to improve contents: think as a customer, try to find new needs (real needs) and add new related contents.
Good contents written in the proper way and language, in "long-term view" are stronger than too many SEO actions.
(Customers will appreciate for sure)


6:24 am on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My suggestion is to keep the existing pages in place and introduce new pages with new names you want and try to get high rank for new pages and once you did it the older pages either can be removed or remain in place as it is right now.

I hope this will not put negative impact on your current statistics


7:16 pm on Sep 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member caveman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yes - and I think that GG has posted to that effect in WW before.

We always use dashes now...because top rankings are a game of inches.

But I suspect the reason that some feel it doesn't matter *much* is that the days of ranking well by stuffing kw's in URI are long gone. There are so many other considerations to ranking well now that "dog-bones.html" versus "dog_bones.html" is probably little more than a tie breaker if all other things are exactly equal.

The thing is, given how many algo elements are at play, a *lot* of individual measures may be little more than tie-breakers, in terms of their overall importance ... so why not get 'em all right. ;-)


1:38 pm on Sep 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A small note. I changed all of my URL's to the new naming and surprise surprise. MSN has picked them up effortlessly. Within a week, all my url's are reindexed / moved and scorng above their previous SERP's. Google ... don't mention Google. Sigh.

I wrote them my exact problem, and the only thing I got back was a useless reply which said the same as is already on their website :-¦ Google really seems to be losing the edge...


3:57 pm on Sep 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google (read Matt Cutts) has always advocated underscores versus the hyphens. So I'd go with that, just like izahmad said.

Also, stay away from subdomains. They've long been abused by spammers and the SEs are wary of them now.

Lastly, to do well, at the risk of sounding trite and rehashing what others have said, you need to do what comes naturally. The unnecessary directory in "example.com/dog/dog-bones.html" will not do you any good.

Hope that helps!


3:01 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Doh! I should concentrate on reading better than reading faster. Please nix my previous post vis-a-vis Matt Cutts. Here's what his blog states:
So if you have a url like word1_word2, Google will only return that page if the user searches for word1_word2 (which almost never happens). If you have a url like word1-word2, that page can be returned for the searches word1, word2, and even 'word1 word2'.


4:21 pm on Sep 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How about example.com/dog-bone/dog-bones.html or example.com/dog-bones/dog-bones.html?

Folders help with the theme of the page in my experience. Just gotta watch it doesn't get outta hand.


7:27 am on Sep 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Stay away from subdomains.


4:13 pm on Oct 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have always hated dashes, they just don't read as well.


As for dog.example.com/dogbones/dog-bones.html I also think that the URL should read well and make sense.

example.com/products/dog-bones.html makes sense to me.

example.com/dog-bones/dog-bones.html just looks dumb and reads dumb. You are in the dog bones x 2 section?

If you are doing that, would just use the folder:




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