In the latest episode of Ask an SEO, Brian Harnish talks about dashes vs. underscores in your URLs, and what Google prefers.
This happens at approximately the 00:00 mark in the video.
Ask an SEO Episode 27 Transcript
Hello, and welcome to Ask an SEO Episode 27. Today’s question is: which is better for URLs, dashes or underscores? Well, there are two popular ways to format URLs with dashes or underscores. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so which one you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Dashes are generally considered to be more readable, both for humans and search engines. They’re also easier to type, since most keyboards have a dedicated dash key. On the downside, dashes can sometimes cause issues with server side scripts. And they’re not as commonly used as underscores, so you might run into compatibility problems down the line. Depending on what you use.
Underscores, on the other hand, are more commonly used in programming languages and are more likely to be compatible with server side scripts. They’re also less likely to cause issues with keywords, and search engines treat them as a word separator just like spaces.
However, underscores can be harder to read, both for humans and for search engines, and they’re not as easy to type on a standard keyboard.
In fact, in a recent podcast, Googlers reiterated the preference of hyphens in URLs over underscores. Google explained that they cannot easily segment an underscore and that’s why they are recommending dashes.
Alright, that’s it for today’s Ask an SEO episode 27.
This is Brian Harnish, signing off. Have a great day.