Because SEO’ seems hard to shake. Matt Cutts on hyphens or underscores. So in our example above, the blue-widgets part would be seen as two different words: blue & widgets. Matt Cutts explains the difference between how Google interprets underscores and dashes in a URL. A few articles and blogs argued that there was a difference in the way Google treated hyphens and underscores. Google treats and underscore as a word joiner — so red_sneakers is the same as redsneakers to Google. Use only standard ASCII alphanumeric characters in file and directory names. Hyphens help Google to figure out what your pages are all about and create consistent results. As nouns the difference between hyphen and underscore is that hyphen is symbol "", typically used to join two or more words to form a compound term, or to indicate that a word has been split at the end of a line while underscore is an underline; a line drawn or printed beneath text; the character. Set the dial for 1999, the year Matt first discovered Google. Matt Cutts’s 2005 blog post Dashes vs Underscores the most common source for this argument. Still, the belief that ‘You Must Use Hyphens! To find out, let’s take a trip in the Google Time Machine. So i would be intruiged to see a similar test of file names with underscore vs hyphen! Have a question? I often get asked whether I’d recommend dashes [hyphens] or underscores for words in URLs. Google recommends using hyphens as a word separator instead of underscore in URLs. In the past, Google treated hyphens but not underscores in a URL as a word separator. Exceptions for consistency. Hypens allow google to recognise each individual word, where underscores are treated as one word: red_bike - would get hits for "red bike" red-bike - would get hits for "red", "bike" and "red bike" Try it for yourself: "laptop reviews" "laptop-reviews" "laptop_reviews" You'll see which has the lowest hits. A world where people use hyphens & underscores to write file names is a world where user-experience thrives. The hyphen: – The en dash: – The em dash: — The underscore: _ So what is a dash, what’s the difference between hyphens, dashes, and underscores, and when should we use them? Google treats a hyphen as a word separator, but does not treat an underscore that way. This is a small, tiny, miniscule thing, but … #4 / Mar 02, 2011 10:17am Roi Agneta 352 posts. That's Why! 2005. This has been confirmed directly by Google themselves, including the fact that using dashes over underscores will have a (minor) ranking benefit. Hyphens are short little lines used to connect two or more words that work together as a single concept. But, Matt Cutts said! In terms of google - i am sceptical. The debate started back in 2007 when Matt left a comment which advocated the perception among marketers, bloggers, and affiliates that underscores are considered word separators. Soon after the misconception, Matt rectified his mistake in his blog and denied the fact that he has equated underscores with hyphens. For URLs in Google, I would recommend using dashes [hyphens]. Underscores in your URLs will not be recognized. Why? Jon and Nevsie, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The issue here is that importing files with the hyphen-minus (the default keyboard key -; U+002D) in their name doesn't work since it represents minus signs in Python.So, if you had your own module you wanted to import, it shouldn't have a hyphen in its name: >>> import test-1 File "", line 1 import test-1 ^ SyntaxError: invalid syntax >>> import test_1 >>> If you're adding to a directory where everything else already uses underscores, and it's not feasible to change everything to hyphens, it's okay to use underscores to stay consistent. In general, separate words with hyphens, not underscores. 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