Is this a bad url for seo:


I think the above url looks great, its short and reads well. However, my concern is the “+” sign. Will the spiders choke on the “+” sign and die?

I’m using mod rewrite to change the url from


Ideally, I’d like to have

, but I don’t think that can be done, because modrewrite sees tempo, black, ford as three different variables. However, if it can be done… please help me!

Thanks guys,

I’ve read a lot on this, and I think the general idea is that, I should not use the +'s because they should be used as parameter strings. +'s also can be encoded as a %20 which would look ugly.

I would refrain from using the plus sign because it will most likely become url encoded to display like you mentioned as ‘%20’ which does not look that good. I would stick with only using letters, numbers, hyphens and underscores. It is also good practice to convert everything to lowercase.

It doesn’t matter. Nuff said. It won’t have a negative impact or a positive impact if you do change it.
And no spiders won’t choke and die on the plus sign. As long as its a valid URI that is all that matters.

You can do it with dashes only as I pointed out in your other thread :slight_smile:

No, a space is encoded as %20, but a plus is just a plus.

What you might be getting confused about is that a lot of search engines and other such sites replace a space in the user input with a plus … so if you Google for ‘top jobs’, the query in the URL is represented by ‘top+jobs’, but that’s nothing to do with character encoding.

This just may be anecdotal but I think my pages that use + on my old site rank higher than the pages that use _ to separate key words

In fact in the results on google, for my pages with keywords separated by +, google actually truncates the url to show the keywords separated by +…

an example would look like this:

The pages using ,,_ don’t even really rank, despite being the main product page.

I’d be very interested to know if the rest of the community had similar results.

At any rate, with the excellent help of Mr. Rémon, I’m going to use '-'s to play it safe.

I’m really thinking about starting a thread about using different linking strategies on your site, maybe mix up the ‘_’,‘+’,‘\’, just so you’re always covered.

From what I’ve heard google doesn’t regard _ as a word separator. So as far as google is concerned, some_keywords_strung_together_with_underscores is one word (not 6), whereas hyphens (and apparently pluses also) are regarded as word separators. That might be the reason your URLs with underscores don’t rank.

Disclaimer: I’m no SEO expert in any way, but to back this up, see Dashes vs. underscores

the other reason why “_” is not good is because if your link is underlined its hard to see _ there.

I did a search on my aforementioned site with the ""s vs. " ", and if I searched for example_example, my url with ""s was #1, w/ a space “example example” my url was #2.

Wikipedia uses _'s as far as I can tell… so I don’t feel bad for falling in that trap, but I wouldn’t ever advise a client to use _, or use it myself now.

You are correct that at one time Google use to not treat underscores as a word separator, but a few years back they changed how they treated them and now Google treats both underscores and hyphens as word separators.

Hyphens & Underscores Are Now Treated Equally in