Thread: Hyphen Filter

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    Lightbulb Hyphen Filter


    During some conversations in a previous thread, an interesting topic came up. Joebob made a reference to a "hyphen filter." The reasoning behind this is simple.

    The theorm:

    If a URL has over two hyphens, then Google will apply a penalty to the site.

    I currently have never heard of a filter/penalty and it sounds like an interesting topic.

    Does anyone have any information to add to this thoerm?

    Hexed
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    I have two sites that ranked top 10 pre-florida. One has 2 hyphens, one has 3 hyphens. Florida kicked them out of the serps. To this day, if I do the -asdf -asdf -asdf thing (at least 8 of them), they both show up in the top 10 again. Neither of these sites are new. One is about a year old. One is about 8 months old. Whether this is due to hyphens or some other penalty, I don't know. (Neither site breaks any rules, no cloaking, no spamming, no hidden text, etc.) I have several other sites that have 2 hyphens that still do well (but no other sites with 3 hyphens).
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    With what little knowledge I have about all of this I would disagree. My site has 3 hyphens in it and I am ranked in G for alot of my phrases in top 5..my main phrase in G I am ranked 14...In Y I am ranked top5 for most of my main phrases..so I wouldnt think that is true. Maybe there is some type of penalty but I havent seen any effects in Y at all and G only thing that isnt there for me yet is my main key phrase Atlanta Real Estate..which by the way is in my url with hyphens
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    I dont think there is any evidence of this apart from 'gails' post in the other thread.
    There are still a few hyphenated domains in various top 10 results.

    Originally Posted by Gail
    At the SEO conference in NY March 2004 Yahoo mentioned the hyphens. More than two their algo isn't happy - can't remember their exact words.
    But that could be just something a Yahoo rep said that was never put into effect.
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    So, how can we create a perfect testbed for this hypothesis?

    Will
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    Or may be it has something to do with the appearance of keywords in the url, hyphenated or not- repeat the keywords, and G is annoyed? Given that Google can single out keywords from the urls of the kinds- "bluewidgets.htm" as well as "blue-widgets.htm", so may be a url like www.bluewidgets.com/blue-widgets.htm is also seen as www.blue-widgets.com/blue-widgets.htm, where no. of blue widgets = 2 = not good?

    IMO Google should have no problem with the number of hyphens. But it may be concerned with the repetition of keywords in the url. Just a thought based on what I'm seeing in my case.
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    that cant be right, look at the results for nigritude ultramarine.
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    Originally Posted by Maneesh
    Given that Google can single out keywords from the urls of the kinds- "bluewidgets.htm" as well as "blue-widgets.htm", so may be a url like www.bluewidgets.com/blue-widgets.htm is also seen as www.blue-widgets.com/blue-widgets.htm, where no. of blue widgets = 2 = not good?

    IMO Google should have no problem with the number of hyphens. But it may be concerned with the repetition of keywords in the url. Just a thought based on what I'm seeing in my case.
    I have a site that is about 18 months old. It has 4 hyphens in the url and the page names have on average 4 hyphens too.

    Yes I know, I did this page when I very first started SEO!

    Anyway pre Florida I had #1 positions for a couple of keywords and the others were mostly top ten.
    Florida happened, the kw at #1 went to around 150 and the rest disappeared over the horizon.

    In the last week all these kw bar 1 have come back to top ten and the ones that were #1 are now #1+2 for both. Also a highly competetive term that I NEVER ranked for is at #35.

    I did NOTHING to these sites, the business they related to had been put on temporary hold anyway. The url and page titles still have 4 hyphens each.

    Keep checking for those long lost sites Donna! :smile:

    .
    Last edited by thewormman; Jun 4th, 2004 at 05:35 PM.
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    good to hear wormman! i'll keep watching for changes!
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    @deregular,

    Right now, I see two sites with keywords repeated in the url. They also have more than one hyphens. So that is inline with none of the two theories. If more than one hyphens are penalized, then these sites should disappear too. May be we need to wait and watch.

    Also, one site that disappeared from the serps for nigritude ultramarine contained more than one hyphens, but it also contained keywords repeated. So who knows why it disappeared?
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    Originally Posted by Maneesh
    @deregular,

    Right now, I see two sites with keywords repeated in the url. They also have more than one hyphens. So that is inline with none of the two theories. If more than one hyphens are penalized, then these sites should disappear too. May be we need to wait and watch.

    Also, one site that disappeared from the serps for nigritude ultramarine contained more than one hyphens, but it also contained keywords repeated. So who knows why it disappeared?
    A lot of sites disappeared from the SERPs on nigritude ultramarine due to most likely the sandbox effect.

    hexed
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    Originally Posted by thewormman
    I have a site that is about 18 months old. It has 4 hyphens in the url and the page names have on average 4 hyphens too.

    Yes I know, I did this page when I very first started SEO!

    Anyway pre Florida I had #1 positions for a couple of keywords and the others were mostly top ten.
    Florida happened, the kw at #1 went to around 150 and the rest disappeared over the horizon.

    In the last week all these kw bar 1 have come back to top ten and the ones that were #1 are now #1+2 for both. Also a highly competetive term that I NEVER ranked for is at #35.

    I did NOTHING to these sites, the business they related to had been put on temporary hold anyway. The url and page titles still have 4 hyphens each.

    Keep checking for those long lost sites Donna! :smile:

    .
    Dave, I guess you intended to quote donna
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    I am sure that there is no more advantage for "kw-kw2-kw3.com". I dont see these kind of domains in my SERPs. I dont think that it's a penalty but there is no more any advantage.
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    Originally Posted by hexed
    A lot of sites disappeared from the SERPs on nigritude ultramarine due to most likely the sandbox effect.

    hexed
    hexed,
    who knows? Almost all the sites in competition are piling up links in a jiffy. Everyone wants Google to credit them all the backlinks before the reults are out. That should oust more sites than we have seen disappeared, since that's what sandbox theory says- too many BLs all of a sudden = suspicious optimization.

    This nigritude competition is going to reveal a lot of things anyways.
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    Why on earth would google want to filter out sites with hyphons in the URL? I've used them in a new site to make the URL more readable and to indicate what is contained in the pages. My feeling is it helps me figure out what my files are about, and it helps searchers confirm the content of the page before clicking a search engine listing. There are definite accessibility benefits for hyphonating.

    :-)
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