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I have a website with url like that :

www.xxxxxx.com/card/wow/20-euros

In term of SEO is it better to use slash or hyphen?

www.xxxxxx.com/card-wow-20-euros

Even though it will be trickier with hyphen to route correctly with only hyphen ...

Or it doesn't matter?

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Semantically: slashes for groups, hyphens for titles. I.E. /cars/toyota/prius -vs- /questions/is-it-better-to-use-slash-or-hyphens-for-seo –  zzzzBov Apr 11 '12 at 15:18
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2 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

General rule of thumb is, the closer you are to your root domain, the better. It is said, that Google weights subfolders in descending order. For example:

www.xxxxxx.com/card/wow/20-euros
2  .1         /3   /4  /5  5

That basically means, that your domain gets the highest rankingpower for its word(s), followed by the subdomain (if any), then position 3, 4, 5, etc.

And as Matt Cutts (from Google) stated (and recommends as a best practice): Google treats hyphens in URLs as a word separator, which basically says this:

www.xxxxxx.com/card-wow-20-euros
2  .1         /3    3   3  3

This allows all four words in your URL to score the same rankpower for each keyword: card 3, wow 3, 20 3, euros 3 instead of card 3, wow 4, 20 5, euros 5.

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Wow really nice answer! Thanks a lot. I'll go and check this Matt Cutts guy, looks interesting. –  yokoloko Apr 11 '12 at 13:04
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Can we get a source for the Matt Cutts claim? –  Joshua Drake Apr 11 '12 at 16:16
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@JoshuaDrake, +1. This answer makes some strong claims with no actual sources to back them up. –  josh3736 Apr 11 '12 at 17:04
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The hyphen as word separator bit is fairly common knowledge(link added above). The directory weighting thing I can't help with. –  Su' Apr 11 '12 at 17:59
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I'm not downvoting this, but I'd have to agree with how this answer has been positioned as factual with no evidence to back it up. Having run this particular scenario on a very large site, I would have to say there is NO evidence that this has any measurable SEO benefit. In fact Matt Cutts has stated that it's the number of clicks or 'hops' from your main page that has the level of influence that is being described here - SEO's have extrapolated this to also mean 'folder depth'. –  Mike Hudson Apr 11 '12 at 22:59
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I personally would view this from a content point of view rather than an SEO one, which eventually leads back to the seo destination anyway I guess...

www.xxxxxx.com/card/wow/20-euros

If you have content you want to place on the "card" or "wow"[plus siblings] pages, then use slashes.

If you don't have any preceding content that you want above the "20-euros" page then go ahead and maybe concatenate the whole term into "card-wow-20-euros"...

As I've said in the comment to DKOATED's answer, doing your entire site in this way would make it look incredibly flat and wide to search engines, with no discernible hierarchy

This is only my own personal and professional opinion though...

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Actually there's a Matt Cutts/Googlewebmaster vid on youtube at youtube.com/watch?v=971qGsTPs8M that rubbishes the whole damn theory... He does however go on to say that from a useability point of view, the hyphen method looks kinda spam-a-lam-a-ding-dong.... That'll be the one that DKOATED already posted then will it... yup... I'll get my coat... –  BizNuge Apr 18 '12 at 22:20
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