Dash or Underscore in URL? How It’s Affecting Your SEO In 2023

Dash or Underscore in URL?

Every detail counts for businesses vying for top positions on search engines – even something as seemingly minuscule as a character in a URL. If you’ve been in the world of SEO for a while, you’ve likely come across this ongoing Debate: should you use dashes or underscores in your URLs? At Diamond SEO, we understand the nuances of SEO intricacies, and here, we delve into this very topic.

Understanding URLs and Their Importance

Before diving into the dash vs underscore debate, let’s establish why URLs matter. URLs, or Universal Resource Locators, serve as online content addresses. Not only do they guide users to a specific webpage, but they also offer search engines information about the page’s content.

A well-structured URL:

Provides users with an idea of what the page is about.

Enhances the user experience by being descriptive and concise.

It offers SEO advantages by being more readable to search engines.

The Historical Context: Google’s Stand on Dashes and Underscores

Google, the major search engine player, once stated that it views underscores as word joiners and dashes as word separators. What this means is a URL with “Diamond SEO” would be read as “Diamondseo,” while “diamond-seo” would be understood as “diamond seo.”

This might seem trivial, but the distinction is crucial for keyword optimization.

Changing Algorithms and the 2023 Perspective

While Google’s algorithm continually evolves, the fundamental principle of reading dashes and underscores has been consistent. In 2023, the emphasis has shifted more towards user experience and readability. Dashes, being more intuitive for human eyes and understanding, have an edge.

The Impact on SEO

We consider every detail when formulating an SEO strategy for our clients at Diamond SEO. Here’s how the choice between dashes and underscores can influence your SEO:

Keyword Recognition: Dashes allow search engines to recognize individual words, making it easier for your page to rank for those specific terms.

User Experience: URLs with dashes are more readable for users, potentially leading to a better click-through rate.

Compatibility: Some older systems and software might need to recognize underscores correctly, potentially leading to broken links or errors.

Best Practices for URL Structuring in 2023

Given the importance of URLs in SEO, here are some guidelines:

Consistency is Key: Whether you choose dashes or underscores, remain consistent across your website.

Descriptive Yet Concise: URLs should describe the content but also be concise. Avoid unnecessary fillers.

Avoid Using Special Characters: Apart from dashes or underscores, avoid other memorable characters, as they can lead to errors.

Diamond SEO’s Stand on the Debate 

At Diamond SEO, our approach is always informed by the latest trends and best practices in the SEO realm. Given the benefits of using dashes in terms of user readability and SEO advantages, we lean towards using dashes in URLs. However, the final choice should also be influenced by a business’s specific needs and existing URL structure.

While the Debate between dashes and underscores may seem minor, in the ever-competitive digital landscape, every little detail can influence your website’s visibility. The bottom line? While both characters have their merits, dashes have the edge for SEO in 2023. When planning your website strategy, ensure you’re making informed decisions that bolster your SEO and, ultimately, your digital success. And if you need guidance, the team at Diamond SEO is here to help!

Businesses can stand out in the crowded digital arena by leveraging the intricacies of SEO, including the nuances of URL structuring. Given the continuous evolution of search algorithms, staying informed and adaptable is crucial. Diamond SEO is committed to ensuring businesses can navigate these changes seamlessly.