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I have a few URLS with %20 or spaces in, I have heard google and other search engines don't like symbols, should I take them out?
The urls of my pages relate to the content on the page, but I add 1 keyword after the name.
For example say my keywords were:
Dog and cat and one of my pages was called dogcat.html and I wanted the page to rank high for the search phrase: dog cat
What would be the best url?
The reason I am taking time over keywords in urls is because not every one will use my requested linking code, they will just link to the page without using my keywords, but if I have my most popular keyword in the url than they can't not use a keyword to link.
Thanks in advance for your help!
I would suggest a fourth example though, specifically:
as I don't see any reason to use capital letters to name new files (though I concede I'm a tad slow in eradicating the last of the files I have with came to me with caps in the filename.)
Don't use dogcat.html - no-one searches for dog cat!
Don't use dog_cat.html - SEs see that as dogcat.
Use dog-cat.html or dog.cat.html - that will catch dog searchers, cat searchers and 'dog cat' searchers.
Don't use dog_cat.html - SEs see that as dogcat
Google treats this as one token that includes the underscore, [dog_cat].
Yahoo does the same for the SERPs, but parses the token into separate terms [dog cat] in its PPC ads.
MSN and Ask parse it for the SERPs, but apparently not for PPC.
As for using the period, Google does not parse [dog.cat] into separate terms. Yahoo, MSN and Ask do, with some differences here and there on exactly what is returned in SERPs and PPC.
Best bet is probably the hyphen, though there are still differences in SERPs returned between [dog-cat] and [dog cat]. Ask appears to do the best job of treating both the as the same.
I was sloppy in making the point that SEs will not see 'dog' or 'cat' within that term.
On dog.cat.html, however, I have a very reliable source who uses this, and states that it is as useful as dog-cat; I regret I know no way of testing it. Either way, I personally feel that dots in file names are rare enough to be a potential source of user confusion, so I'd not use them.
I'm interested to read that dog-cat may be parsed in a different way than dog cat; I've never heard that before, and I'm unclear how significant that might be. There is no doubt that two hyphenated terms are seen as separate; are you suggesting that SE behaviour could be 'different enough' to make dog%20cat a prefered option?
[edited by: Quadrille at 4:45 pm (utc) on July 31, 2006]
Even though it appears that spaces in a URL might be beneficial, I think there's too many chances for URL munging, mistyping, etc., to really make a good argument for using spaces.
For example, if people link to yourdomain.com and others to your www.domain.com, then Google may see two sites.
For most purposes, there is no confusion between 'your file.html' and your%20file.html - but it is conceivable that different format links could lead to a 'ghost' file being called into existence, with a subsequent risk of dupe issues.
I don't know if it's a 'real' risk - but it's one more reason to use your-file.html, if not plain old fashioned file.html
Remember the often-quoted Quadrille's Law of Hyphenating Domain Names:
"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'"
Key word 1 vs. Key-word-1
With an exact copy & paste page for each, after 6 months, the Key-word-1 page out performed the other by 17% (click thrus) and in all cases, placed higher in Google and Yahoo. MSN it made no difference.
As for the underscore(_), we never use it for design reasons.