When we’re auditing a website for search engine optimisation (SEO), one of the common errors we find is the use of underscores in URLs and image filenames rather than hyphens. File Name Example. The only way to split two words in a file name is by using a hyphen. There is no "best". Most operating systems are case sensitive; always use lowercase. Nor should you use an underscore (_) to separate words. Listed below are some filenames which would be ideal from the users' point of view as well as SEO. But that's exactly why it doesn't assist your SEO to use the underscore in file names, because that's not what people are using in searches. When I double-click a name which is made up of a bunch of words, if the words are separated by an underscore (snare_soft_01), then the entire name gets selected when it's double-clicked. Whereas if there's a hyphen (or spaces) between the words in a name (snare-soft-01), I won't get the whole name, just a single word of it. You use what works for you. So a file for a class (CS 3358), coming from a "Assignment" folder, named "file.cpp" I would name "CS-3358_Assignment_file.cpp", and that system is just for that type of file or folder. Avoid using spaces and underscores; use a hyphen instead. Now, I figure that there are three possible grammar options for making names – hyphens, underscore and CamelCase. I use both, as needed. Keep your filenames to a reasonable length and be sure they are under 31 characters. One of the reasons this question is so debated is because of a poorly worded comment made by Google’s Matt Cutts in 2007 that to many people seemed to imply that underscores were treated as word separators. When writing for website, i choose underscore _ as space separators for file names, not dash. I use hyphens for related information, and underscores as I would a space. It’s a hot topic for argument when the time comes for corporate standards (and when Network Engineers have beverages in a public house). Because, when forced between these 2 choices, underscore is a better choice to stand for space because dash has significance in english words. A file name like exercise_1.py is better than the name execise-1.py.We can run both programs equally well from the command line, but the name with the hyphen limits our ability to write larger and more sophisticated programs. You can make a sure bet that this issue reflects one of the many, over 200 factors that Google takes into account when evaluating your website. Try to use 2 keywords if possible. It seems like a tiny point to deal with but for SEO it can be really important to get this right as it helps establish the keywords Google will index. History of the hyphen vs. underscore SEO URL debate. "But who really searches for terms like 'search_engine_optimisation'? From Building Skills in Python:. Separate the keywords with hyphens rather than underscores. But in my case, I can't afford to pass anything up. Don’t start or end your filename with a space, period, hyphen, or underline. It's frequently argued that user's have a hard time even finding the underscore" No one does. I'll take all the weight I can get no matter how small. Do not use more than 3-4 words in file names. Technical Background When naming your files with phrases, don’t leave spaces between words. The correct way to name a page about "plasma televsions" would be "plasma-televisions.html". Underscores are seen by search engines generally as “word combiners”, and hyphens are seen as “word separators.” Scott was right, never use underscores for anything. Namely, the use of underscores and hyphens in object names and devices. Most SEO experts will tell you there isn't a lot of weight given to file names. Use actual service name in your file name such as computer-repairing.htm. 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