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I am working on a project where my landing page URL will look like as shown below:

eg:1 www.website.com/books#!shakuntla-devi--aptitude-questions--2014

Shakuntla devi: Author name
Aptitude Questions: Book name
2014: Publication Year

This landing page will be generated dynamically based upon URL, for which I need to fetch all 3 fields first. Now, to differentiate all 3 fields I am planning to use double hyphen (--).

I can use single hyphen too as shown below, but that will reduce the performance because some extra queries will be needed to identify them.

eg:2 www.website.com/books#!shakuntla-devi-aptitude-questions-2014

My question is:
Shall I continue with double hyphen URL? But if it is not recommended from SEO perspective, I will be happy with a little bit slow system because SEO is far important than performance for this project.

PS: I understand that I have to use ! after # for SEO (am also going to include all such URLs in the sitemap) but regarding use of double hyphen am not able to find any satisfactory answer or advice. I noticed that Jabong is also using double hyphen in their filter logic. Other than Jabong I don't see any other website with double hyphen that's why I am little bit afraid to use it.

http://www.jabong.com/kids/clothing/girls-clothing/kids-twin-sets-jumpsuits/kids-jumpsuits-dungarees--kids-girls-combo-sets/

I would really appreciate if someone can help me with this.

  • Why do you think a double hyphen, as opposed to a single hyphen, would have a negative effect on SEO? – MrWhite Sep 17 '15 at 8:42
  • Because I've never seen them in anyone else's URL structure. – Nitin Sep 17 '15 at 8:56
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It would not have a negative impact on the SEO & Ranking but reduce the CTR. I have had a similar question - What is better for SEO "-" or "()" to describe sub-contents? And I researched on it and got to know that URL such as

http://domain.com/folder/page-content-with-specific-keywords-in-url

has more CTR (and probably ranking as High CTR results in increasing SE Rankings) than following URLs

http://domain.com/folder/page--content---with--specific----keywords-in----url
http://domain.com/folder/page%02content%20with%20specific%20keywords%20in%20url
http://domain.com/folder/page-content%20with-specific%20keywords-in%20url
http://domain.com?folder=foldername&?page=page-content-with-specific-keywords-in-url

The reasons for the Higher CTR & Rankings are:

  • Human readability
  • Higher relevancy
  • Less amount of keywords in URL are truncated
  • High percentage of keyword match with URL

%20 or - results in space between keywords. If you use more - or %20 between each keyword it will result in more spaces between keywords.

If you use common sense you can tell which one has higher matching keywords from good-url and good--url

Definitely use single hyphen. Its best practice for URL rewriting as suggested by Google.

Read more about 8 Simple SEO Tricks That’ll Help You Rank Above the Fold and Increase Your CTR

Create clean, focused, and optimized URLS While your title tag needs to be emotional, your URL doesn’t.

  • 2
    Nicely said! There is no advantage to all the URL tricks people want to use. Simple is always best. Staying traditional works a trick too! – closetnoc Sep 17 '15 at 14:23
  • @closetnoc "Nicely said! There is no advantage", but Macraze says there is... "Higher CTR & Rankings". (?) – MrWhite Sep 17 '15 at 16:02
  • @w3d Yes. Study reveals having clean URL helps in getting higher CTR. Read more at quicksprout.com/2012/02/23/… – Maroof Mandal Sep 17 '15 at 16:05
  • @w3d Good point about the CTR. Humans are, at their base, simple and traditional creatures. We gravitate toward what we are familiar with. More to the point is that Darwin gave us a significant clue about evolution in that thousands of years of evolving language and the written word is not done blindly. This means that sticking with what has traditionally been done does not violate our sense of familiarity and understanding. Plus, it is a pain in the arse to type all 'dem hyphens. Just sayin! ;-) – closetnoc Sep 17 '15 at 16:23

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