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So what's the best way to use your keyword once in the url?
For example, if I build a page on my website about "Baltimore Singles", how should I name it?
Just curious. Thanks for any insight!
"baltimoresingles" is a single word, which matches neither. It is like "therapist", which matches neither "the" nor "rapist".
Google seems to parse the underscore like a valid letter, so "baltimore_singles" is also a (different) single word.
'singles baltimore' will generate totally different SERPs to 'baltimore singles', so name the page in the most likely keyword order from searches.
I have had equally good results in the past with hyphens and underscores, although now I use hyphens as standard.
I suspect that this may be because keywords in filename give at best a rather small boost to ranking.
The proof that underscores are not word separators was given, long ago, by weguerilla. Do a search on allinurl:hotels location. You will see lots of sites with the words separated y periods or hyphens, none with underscores.