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Old 10-30-2005   #1
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Dashes In URLs - Soon To be Spam?

What do you think - If we know that dashes in URLs are a forced, purposeful SEO tactic, then those smart people over at the search engines certainly know it.

So, do you think that links that are URLs with dashes (or maybe have a certain amount of dashes) would possibly be discounted or the keywords ignored since it is a known (SEO spam?) tactic?

It would be easy enough for the SE algorithm to know the link starts with an http:// or a www. or ends in a .com .org, etc. and not count it the same as a regular text link.

Think we might see this in a future (or current) update?
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Old 10-30-2005   #2
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dashes in URLs are a forced, purposeful SEO tactic
That's a broad statement - for example - the French tend to hyphenate place names, monument names etc - so the correct French names are hautes-alpes, Provence-Alpes-Cτte d'Azur etc (with a hyphen) - so it follows that they often have a hyphen in the URLS for a non SEO reason.

I think what you are alluding to - less ranking weight for keywords in URLS - has already happened. i.e. URLS like buy-viagra-online-and-consolidate-your-debts.com just don't seem to be ranking like they used to...
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Old 10-30-2005   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_D
I think what you are alluding to - less ranking weight for keywords in URLS - has already happened. i.e. URLS like buy-viagra-online-and-consolidate-your-debts.com just don't seem to be ranking like they used to...
I think the fact that GoogleGuy was suggesting he preferred hyphens to underscores in page filenames, and that we're seeing page names like this...

"no-seo-apprentice-for-martha-stewart"

...in Matt Cutts' blog, suggests that hyphens in urls are neither SEO-effective nor SEO-dangerous, at least not on Google.
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Old 10-30-2005   #4
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I think that using hyphens helps out the visitor as, normally, people name their pages to correlate with the content, and if it helps the user, I don't see Google penalising their use.
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Old 10-30-2005   #5
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everything in moderation.
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Old 10-30-2005   #6
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It seems to me that if every page of your site was like search-engine-optimization-services.htm, search-engine-optimization-information.htm, search-engine-optimization-faq.htm, etc.

That it could certainly open your site up for further scrutiny. Further scrutiny doesn't mean that it would be penalized or anything, but just that it might be looked at a bit more closely to see what you might be up to.

Just my opinion, as it seems like common sense to me.
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Old 10-31-2005   #7
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I'd view it as one of many SEO flags. A multi-hyphenated domain by itself, no problem. In conjunction with questionable links, hidden ownership, spammy keywords, and a dozen other things, perhaps another nail in the coffin.
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Old 11-03-2005   #8
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it seems well accepted today and they will come up with a system that will tell if it is being abused.
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Old 11-03-2005   #9
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It could be 1 of many factors to detect spam.

Quote:
Q: Domains with hyphens
A: Anything with more than 2 hyphens the quality drops off. Yahoo reps have stated they look at domains with more than 2 hyphens and flag them possibly as spam.
source: http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/002357.html (Advanced Linking Strategies)
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Old 11-03-2005   #10
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I don't think the engines put as much weight in URL's as they once did, however I still wouldn't want to stuff too many dashes into the URL or pagename.

After all, how could one determine the quality of a page just by the dashes found in the page name?
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Old 11-03-2005   #11
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so Yahoo is looking at hyphens in domains (good to know), what about paths/filenames?
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Old 11-03-2005   #12
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yahoo is crazy about keywords in filenames, domain names and links, just my experience
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Old 11-03-2005   #13
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cray about them like, they tend to rank higher? Or crazy about them like, they tend to flag them as spammy?
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Old 11-04-2005   #14
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Keywords in domain name, url and filename will help you in Y more then in G
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Old 11-06-2005   #15
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>>Yahoo reps have stated they look at domains with more than 2 hyphens and flag them possibly as spam.

Who doesn't? When I get a link request from keyword-keyword2-keyword3-keyword4.com, I delete it without even bothering to look. A glance at the domain name and knowing the industry the keywords represent lets you determine that it won't be a quality site with 99.99% accuracy. And if you and I can do it, I'd guess search engine PhDs can to it, too.
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Old 11-07-2005   #16
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What if it's a PR 9 site?

Quote:
...in Matt Cutts' blog, suggests that hyphens in urls are neither SEO-effective nor SEO-dangerous, at least not on Google.
So keeping SEO out of the picture then, whats the consensus: are keywords and hyphens in URLs good for the user (taking length into consideration)?

Ex:
*ww.example.com/womens-shoes/newport-news-laced-suede-boot/productnumber.html
vs.
*ww.example.com/productnumber.html
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Old 11-07-2005   #17
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Subdirectories/filenames: That's a tough one - see, I like to use descriptive URLs so I know what's going on in my site.

Page1, page2, etc are not very helpful. Further, I tend to catagorize areas using directories. Been doing it for years.

When I became engrossed in SEO, I continued to do this, except now I'll choose a keyword instead of any old phrase. For example, if both "car crash" and "vehical accident" fit as a descriptor, I'll use the one with the most traffic.

Another change I made was that instead of running carcrash.php together, I now usually separate them using a hyphen: car-crash.php.

So, yes, I'm making changes entirely due to SE issues, but they are based on previous behavior. Personally, I think that's a good thing.

Where it gets bad, IMO, is when it's obvious that the ONLY reason for a sub-directory or page name is for SE purposes. I think at that point you start moving into red flag areas. But red flag, not "automatic spam".

It's kind of like page titles - putting keywords in is helpful and OK, stuffing keywords in is probably over the top.

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Old 11-07-2005   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L
Ex:
*ww.example.com/womens-shoes/newport-news-laced-suede-boot/productnumber.html
vs.
*ww.example.com/productnumber.html
In this case, you are adding 2 folder depths to the URL which will lower link popularity to these pages, I'd recommend something like:

ww.example.com/womens-shoes/newport-news-laced-suede-boot.html
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Old 11-07-2005   #19
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In this case, you are adding 2 folder depths to the URL which will lower link popularity to these pages
That's simply not true. It might appear to be 2 folders deep, but it's all in how you link to it.

If that URL is linked to from the main navigation on every page, it's one click away from the home page and will get all the link pop that any other links in the navigation would get. It has nothing to do with the physical place the URL is on the server.
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Old 11-08-2005   #20
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Also, consider this: archived Blogger posts are given hyphen-rich filenames that use, in part, the words in the title of the post.

I hardly think those kinds of filenames, hyphen-laden-or-not, are going to be seen as suspicious in any way.
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