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If I prefix a dash to GUIDs in my URLs on my Web site, in this manner:


Will my SEO rating be affected?

Background: On my site, people can look up pages by GUID, and by path. For example,
both example.com/forum/-3v32nirn32/eat-animals-without-friends
and example.com/forum/eat-animals-without-friends could map to the same page. To indicate that 3v32nirn32 is a GUID and not a page name, I thought I could prefix a - and then my webapp would understand.

But I wouldn't want my search engine rating to drop. And prefixing a dash in this manner seems weird, so perhaps Googlebot lowers my rating. Hence my question: Do you know if my search engine rating might drop? (Today or in the future?)

(I could also e.g. prefix id-, so the URL becomes example.com/forum/id-3v32nirn32, but then people cannot create pages that start with the word "id".)

(I think I don't want URLs like this one: example.com/id/some-guid.)

Kind regards, Magnus

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 31 '10 at 17:31

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Off topic - belongs on webmasters. – The Archetypal Paul Dec 31 '10 at 17:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

That won't affect your rankings. Dashes, and other non alphanumeric characters, are perfect acceptable in URLs and in-and-of themselves do not directly affect rankings.

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Agreed, don't worry about dashes, etc. Additionally: If you have both descriptive & unique text as well as a GUID in the URL, I'd consider dropping the GUID altogether. One URL is enough :-). – John Mueller Dec 31 '10 at 19:24
@John Conde: Okay. In my webapp, I've removed the "id-..." code I added a few hours ago and changed to "-..." which I like better :-) – KajMagnus Jan 14 '11 at 1:47
@John Mueller: I'll use <link rel='canonical'...> to mitigate duplicated contents problems. But it's almost not an issue anyway in my case: Some pages will be accessed almost only via some/path/page-name (e.g. blog and wiki pages), whereas other pages will be accessed exclusively via GUID (e.g. forum pages -- I'd like 2 people to be able to create questions with the same name (but different GUID)). – KajMagnus Jan 14 '11 at 1:49

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