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We all are quite aware that hyphen is the title word separator as described in this video by Matt Cutts.

But I was shocked to find that Google was listing the matching page titled "SomePrefix City-Enrollment Centers" in the bottom in SERP (of 100 results) when I entered this query:

SomePrefix City Enrollment Centers

However when I keyed in this query, it showed the page in top in SERP:

SomePrefix City-Enrollment Centers

I'm wondering whether I should have given space around the hyphen in the page title otherwise it seems that Google is considering "City-Enrollment" as single word.

In short how to prevent such situation in which Google may consider those as single words or phrases?

Notes:

  • I'm not including quotes around my search phrase.
  • Right now I've removed hyphen altogether to make it simple.
  • I rather suspect that using pipes are a more effective separator and that the dash could be somewhat fuzzy. – closetnoc Mar 17 '15 at 19:53
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If the word is meant to be written with an hyphen for correct spelling, then leave it there or google will surely consider it as two separate words.

So no, it is not necessarily a word separator.

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