Jim Westergren
About me, my projects, SEO, Web Development and Personal Development since 2005
"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

SEO Test Finalized - How to write the URLs?

The way I learn SEO is by observing and testing. I don't listen to all that junk on forums and articles except the very few sources that are my favorites such as randfish.

In my tests I have all of the test pages with an exact amount of generated random Lorem Ipsum to not hit the dup content.

Testing data taken from here my datacollection for tests.

Question for the test: how should you write the URLs?


This is a test that was started on the August 11, 2005 in regards to the different URLs after a discussion on a forum.

Let's say we want to optimize a certain web page for the phrase "word1 word2 word3".

How should you then write the URLs?

Is there actually a difference and in that case is that related for Google, MSN and Yahoo?

Let's look at the present data:

Check the Google search results

(results from jayuz.com are scraped content, nothing to do with the test)

First + then - and then without, underscore not listed (?).

Check the MSN search results

Frist - then + and then without, underscore again not listed (??).

Check the Yahoo search results

First without then + then dash and then underscore.

In the middle of September 2005 (40 days after test start) I noted down the test results and at that time:

Google: Exact the same MSN: Also exact the same Yahoo: Was ranking first + but on #2 dashes and the others not listed. Yahoo is slow, we all know ...

I think it is interesting that A, test results shows the same results after 4 months, B Google ranks + in URLs highest despite what Matt Cutts blogged about it and C that underscores in the URLs were unlisted in both G and MSN (because dash version was there?).


Strange as it might seem the SEs seem to prefer + signs in the URLs however in the viewpoint from the visitor I don't find that attractive and professional. So I would recommend to use dashes.

13 Feb 2006

About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur currently living in Spain. He is happily married and has three lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing.
He is the Founder of DomainStats and N.nu. Read his .