As search engines have become more sophisticated, so too have SEO tactics. One such tactic that has been used for many years is the use of hyphens in URLs. Hyphens have been used to separate keywords in URLs, with the aim of improving SEO.
However, the impact of hyphens on SEO is not as clear-cut as it once was. In this article, we will explore the role of hyphens in SEO, and the pros and cons of using hyphens in your URLs for SEO.
Understanding the Role of Hyphens in SEO
To understand the impact of hyphens on SEO, it is important to understand how search engines work. Search engines use algorithms to crawl and index web pages. These algorithms analyze the content of a web page, including the URL, to determine its relevance to a search query.
The URL of a web page can provide important information about the content of the page, and can help search engines to rank it appropriately.
Hyphens have traditionally been used in URLs to separate keywords. For example, a URL for a web page about SEO might look like this:
In this URL, the hyphens are used to separate the keywords “search engine” and “optimization”. This can help search engines to understand that the web page is about search engine optimization, and can help to improve its ranking for relevant search queries.
However, the use of hyphens in URLs is not without controversy. Some SEO experts believe that hyphens can be detrimental to SEO, while others argue that they are essential. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using hyphens in your URLs for SEO.
The Pros of Using Hyphens in URLs for SEO
There are several benefits to using hyphens in URLs for SEO:
Hyphens make URLs more readable and user-friendly. A URL with hyphens is easier for users to read and understand than a URL without hyphens. This can improve user experience and make it more likely that users will click on your link.
Hyphens can help to improve keyword relevance. When hyphens are used to separate keywords in a URL, it can help search engines to understand what the page is about. This can improve keyword relevance and help to improve the page’s ranking for relevant search queries.
Hyphens can help to avoid ambiguity. When there are multiple words in a URL, it can sometimes be unclear where one word ends and the next begins. Hyphens can help to avoid this ambiguity and make it easier for search engines to understand the content of the page.
The Cons of Using Hyphens in URLs for SEO
Despite the benefits of using hyphens in URLs for SEO, there are also some potential drawbacks:
Hyphens can make URLs longer. When hyphens are used to separate keywords in a URL, it can make the URL longer. This can make it harder to remember and type in manually, which can reduce the number of direct visitors to your website.
Hyphens can look spammy. In some cases, the use of hyphens in URLs can look spammy or manipulative. This can potentially harm your website’s reputation and lead to a lower ranking in search results.
Hyphens can be overused. Some website owners may be tempted to use hyphens excessively in their URLs in an attempt to improve SEO. However, overusing hyphens can make URLs look spammy and may actually harm SEO.