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How can I rename a number of pages

Without upsetting google

     
2:29 pm on Jul 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi there,My first post on this forum.
Please can someone tell me if I can rename a number of pages without upsetting google. Or should I leave well alone?
Thanks so much.
P
6:13 pm on July 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Leave alone if possible. Cool URIs don't change.

However, if your URLs have more than three parameters, or have spaces or underscores in them, you may well want to change them to something more SE friendly.

If they already rank well, you might still want to leave "bad" URLs alone.

Whatever you move, make sure that the old URL serves a 301 redirect to the new URL each time, if you can. Do this for the best ranked and highest traffic URLs as a minimum.

5:16 am on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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g1smd,

Could you tell what's wrong with the underscores?
http://www.example.com/red_widget.html seems like a good URL to me. Am I wrong?

1:54 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm also curious what's wrong with underscores. Most of my pages have them in the URL.
2:05 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google treats the underscore as another character, not as a word break.

So, this is one_word whereas this is two-words as is this two.words.

So, cheap_flights could only rank for cheap_flights not for "cheap" or for "flights".

5:57 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Or for "cheap flights" right? Crazy. I always liked the way underscored looked vs. dashes. I'll start thinking about some serious redirecting, or maybe just wait to switch until I change domains.
6:19 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Some useful reading: [mattcutts.com...]

There are others too.

11:14 pm on July 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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G1 great heads up. I am learning so much on WWF...

There is a lot of originality and creativity here!

2:05 am on July 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google actually seems to pick out my_keywords_from_here. If I search for "keywords here" and my_keywords_from_here.html is returned, "keywords" and "here" is made bold in the URL.
2:51 am on July 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We've been over this subject many times. The bolding is a last-minute function that only modifies what the on-screen display looks like. If you want to rank well for "red widgets", then "red-widgets" will win over "red_widgets" every time. But keyword-in-URL is a minor ranking factor, so don't sweat it if you've used underscores in the past; Changing URLs is a guaranteed (if temporary) loss of ranking, and that loss will be greater than any gain from changing from underscores to hyphens.

Another problem is that the three underscores_in_this link [webmasterworld.com] get obscured by the link underlining, and so can lead to mis-typed type-in URLs (like when someone writes down your URL on a piece of paper to check out later).

Jim

2:56 am on July 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks jdMorgan, good advice.
 

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