Paul Diamond Blow's Huggy Talk
Tips, tricks, and advice for graphic designers.


Hyphens vs. Underscores in Web Urls
Should hyphens or underscores be used in web urls? What is the difference?

by Paul Ace Diamond "Huggy" Blow





When creating a web url address for a webpage you need to consider the use of hyphens or underscores to separate words in the url to make the web url more searchable by search engines such as Google. For instance, the url of this web page is paulblow.tripod.com/hyphens-vs-underscores.html, using hyphens to separate the key words. You definitely do not want to run the words together as hyphensvsunderscores, and you cannot, of course, use space symbols in a web url, so your only other options are hyphens or underscores. The difference between the two is how Google interprets the characters...

According to Google, hyphens are seen as word seperators, while underscores are not. So, in the case of this web page, if someone were to google search "hyphens vs underscores" my page would (or should) come up in the search results, whereas if I had used underscores the web url would not help my page get a better google search ranking. If you do a google search on any certain phrase or term, check out the google search results, and you will most likely find that the top ranking web pages all use the key words in their web url along with hyphens to seperate the key words. I personally used to use underscores in all my web urls, but over time I renamed them with hyphens and can attest that it did indeed help increase traffic to my web pages.

Of course, simply using the right key words separated with hyphens alone will not get you the top google search results. Having quality content in the page itself with the correct usage of key words is even more important for getting your web page rank high in google search results.

All in all, when creating url names for your own web pages you are best off using key words seperated by hyphens. There you go... happy web mastering!


Author Paul Diamond Blow works as a production artist for a major book publisher with over ten years experience in the field. He is a Photoshop wizard, an Indesign samuri, and a sweetheart of a guy..