I've been reading that Google prefers semantic filenames for images, to make them rank well for SEO, and they recommend using hyphenated filenames when there are several words per filename, like cool-penguins-beach.jpg.

However, what about using periods as a separator of words?

Would a filename like so: beautiful.country.house.jpg still be properly indexed?

Would Google prefer the hyphenated filenames anyways? If so, I'd like to understand why.

Essentially, we have hundreds of images which filenames are made of words and periods, so we wonder if we should change that.

Many thanks for any clue.

  • 2
    I am not sure why you would want to use periods, however, any non-alpha-numeric character should be seen as a separator/word boundary and should work the same programmatically. Be that as it may, I still recommend hyphens. There may be a specific reason why G recommends them and I am not sure I would buck convention or G's recommendation. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 18:30
  • Thanks, I'll follow G's recomms. Your comment got me thinking, and if I'd have to guess, I'd say a period isolates the words (detrimental for SEO), whereas a hyphen connects the words and forms a "grouped" expression, which Google would prefer (but still, I couldn't find any source to back this).
    – Peanuts
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 19:09
  • 1
    Also consider that G may be using some standard semantic libraries where a period would have a special meaning such as the end of a statement. Who knows what effect that would have?
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


you can let your periods in file names without fear. If such file names would in general cause problems, so every file like http://www.example.com/mycrazyhotlinuxdistro.tar.gz wouldn't have a right to exist.

  • The OP is asking about something like my.crazy.hot.linux.distro.tar.gz. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 22:57
  • one or four points - no difference. URLs to files like .tar.gz use amount of no.file.extention.points, which is higher then zero. Since that it is no longer important how many exactly.
    – Evgeniy
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 9:00
  • I agree to a point that there is no difference, except that the question is about my.crazy.hot.linux.distro.tar.gz versus my-crazy-hot-linux-distro.tar.gz. In my comments, I recommend (-) over (.) for simple reasons though I am sure that programmatically the word boundaries would still be processed the same. The only exception could be semantic processing using a library. I am not arguing with you! Honest!! I am just saying the answer does not seem to address (-) versus (.). Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 15:24

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