If using "@" (at sign) in URLs like http://www.example.com/@john/post/10, is SEO affected negatively?

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    What makes you think it might hurt? Since I believe that @ symbol can be used in a URL under the segment-nz-nc = 1*( unreserved / pct-encoded / sub-delims / "@" according to URI Syntax. Google and other search engines treat it differently depending where it is positioned in the URL. – Simon Hayter Feb 14 '17 at 23:36
  • I would not recommend it, just in case there is a compatibility problem somewhere and because it does not add semantic value to the URL/path, however, other than those considerations, there should be no issues from a site performance perspective. – closetnoc Feb 15 '17 at 2:54
  • @SimonHayter What makes you think it might hurt? because if google robots remove @ from url in http://www.example.com/@john/post/10 , see error 404 and have bad feedback. but if google or other search engines robots don't remove @ , can index data for each users. Thanks 🌹 – mghhgm Feb 15 '17 at 8:03

While there isn't a hard and fast rule saying not to use the @ symbol Google's John Mueller has said in a Google Webmaster Help topic in the past that you should avoid using special characters in your URL's. He specifically makes mention of avoiding commas, semicolons, colons, spaces, quotes, etc, but in general terms talks about avoiding any special characters as URL's with special characters are often harder to automatically link and are harder to be correctly recognised when parsing text content to try and find new URL's.

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    RFC does not consider @ a special character. Thus, only alphanumerics, the special characters "$-_.+!*'(),", and reserved characters used for their reserved purposes may be used unencoded within a URL. – Simon Hayter Feb 16 '17 at 9:49

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