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As designed  Underscores in thread title URLs?

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#2
I'm fairly sure that's by design.

Well ? has a special meaning in URLs, so it can't be used. We only strip out special characters that are in the (7-bit) ASCII range - there's an unlimited number of non-ASCII characters that could be removed. There are thoughts around this, but that's more of a different feature.
 

Despair

Active member
#3
Hmm, if I'm not mistaken an underscore is part of the 7 bit ASCII range. Even though a question mark is as well, it has the purpose to denote query strings whereas not so much the underscore. From a SEO perspective, it may be beneficial to use all hyphens as well. Matt Cutt's has also mentioned many times to use hyphens instead of underscores. (Yea, another Matt Cutt's said ;)) Although I suppose that would be in the sense that you should avoid underscores for all of the word separations of your content. I assume in the rare circumstances people use underscores, this would have less of an impact on SEO. I may be just a bit picky here.
 

Mike

XenForo developer
Staff member
#4
Your context relates to using underscores when someone says "this is my title". But if someone types "this_is_my_title", I see no reason not to use underscores. Strictly speaking, in the example you listed, "zend http client" is different from "zend_http_client". The latter is specifically referring to a class name; the former is more general.

So this is the designed behavior.
 

jmurrayhead

Well-known member
#5
I assume in the rare circumstances people use underscores, this would have less of an impact on SEO. I may be just a bit picky here.
From what I've read and experienced, there is no clear winner in terms of search results when using hyphens or underscores and using either has little impact on a site's position in search results. Do a quick Google search for "zend_http_client" and you'll see results on the first page with underscores in the URL.
 

Despair

Active member
#6
So this is the designed behavior.
Alrighty, I figured so, just wanted to confirm.
From what I've read and experienced, there is no clear winner in terms of search results when using hyphens or underscores and using either has little impact on a site's position in search results. Do a quick Google search for "zend_http_client" and you'll see results on the first page with underscores in the URL.
I think it's generally accepted overall that hyphens are better than underscores, which Google also recommends. You may be right that the underscores when describing something like a class name may actually be better for SEO though. Not that you can't use underscores and do well, I'd say the main importance is being consistent.

In the end I think I'm just a little OCD, the underscores just don't "look good" IMO which is one reason I won't be using content titles in the URL. :LOL: