I have a complex class on my server side, for example class Car has Properties Make and Model.

There is a form that user can fill (Make and Model are input textboxes), then I pass all these inputs as search parameters to the server. The search parameters are passed in QueryString.

I use jQuery to serialize my form, so I end up with a url like:


Since Car is a complex type, it is NOT very easy for me to replace the period with hyphen... so I would only do this, if this is actually important with respect to SEO. Do search engines prefer a URL with hyphen (like below) to a URL with period?


3 Answers 3


Generally speaking, "hyphen" is prefered over "underscore" - I never had anyone use "periods" before, but for the sake of this question, I recommend hyphens over periods. It is more a readability thing. However, it will neither make or break your site. The only thing that matters when it comes to SEO is that you have a product/service that is needed by people, content that supports search queries of different intent (knowledge, commercial, transactional) and resonates with your audience.

Equally important - have an outreach campaign in place that works. Finally, a desktop and mobile-friendly website that passes the UI/UX needs of your visitors (see RAIL model). That's all based on eight years working in Digital Marketing and various successful projects. The website is your car, and Technical SEO, content and outreach is the driver. The vehicle must be optimised and ready - the driver will win the race.

Now to answer your particular question - you are referring to a Search query - so I am assuming this is a POST request (you are sending the "Search" Query entered by a user to the Server). So it doesn't matter at all to SEO because Google bot will not invoke a search on your website, most importantly it won't enter a random long-tail keyword and then check the POST URL and try to make sense of it (ironically of the search term it just entered).

Google bot will only ever crawl links in your sitemap and links found on your website .

Please let me know if I miss understood your question, and I am more than happy to give additional information.


Couple of points to add: 1) Underscores are a JOIN operator 2) Dashes are SEPARATOR 3) Periods are for SUBDOMAINS

This is old programming language standards. So all of that is to say, dashes are the way to go. If you use periods your URL will not likely get parsed correctly.

Check out the "double-click highlight_test," or was it, "double_click_highlight.test?"

Endless amounts of fun for SEOs.

  • 2
    I second that. ( ◠‿◠ ) Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 0:39

It was way back when search engines use to read underscores as word separators, even the developers then, used to name their files accordingly. But then things changed after 2012 when google mentioned in its one of the SEO guides that underscores should be used as word separators. So as per SEO's perpective, using underscores in urls/slugs is a good practice.

  • 1
    How many domain names with underscores do you know? As @keepkalm pointed out - Google treats underscore as word joiners (see response below). So yellow_cab is equal to yellowcab. If you feel it has changed for some reason, please produce the source so I amend my answer. Thank you Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 0:37
  • Well its not about domains containing underscores, its for topic indexing, like wordpress use post title as url/slug with every word separated with a hypen. Yes.. Yellow_Cab will mean yellowcab and yellow-cab will mean 'yellow cab'. Here is a video from Google webmasters where matt answers the question about hyphen v/s underscore youtu.be/AQcSFsQyct8 do have a look
    – Tariq
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 2:35
  • Thank you @Tariq - the Video you attached, Matt clearly confirms that underscores are Joiners & Dashes should be used. It also confirms my statement in the initial answer I posted that it neither makes nor breaks your website. I am very confused to why you claim that underscores are the way to go? Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 7:08
  • Now Google advices to use hyphens. Keep a simple URL structure
    – Ledorub
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 16:16

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