How to fix issues with underscores in URLs

When it comes to ensuring that your site is properly optimized for search engines, you may have worried about whether or not the presence of a dash or an underscore in the URL of your website will have an impact. That’s exactly what we’re going to examine in depth in this article. You’ll find out whether the format of your website’s URL has an impact on the SEO ranking of your page and why.

Let’s get to it!

What does it mean when a URL has an underscore or a dash?

Many website owners have used underscores to represent spaces in a web address. They did this innocently enough, not understanding the reprecussions. 

Using an underscore seems logical, but it can cause issues when crawling the URL and lead to incorrect results. As per the guideline made by Google, the only characters that should be included in a URL are dashes because they are simpler to read and represent spaces.

What causes the problem with underscores?

You will know your URL has a problem if the user does not get to the specified page. The following is a list of issues that are caused by underscores:

  • The underscore in your URL is interpreted as a word character instead of being treated as a space.
  • Several alphabet characters and underscores were removed from the URL making it difficult to read.

How to fix underscores in URLs

Most web browsers and search engines will treat underscores in a URL as independent characters even if they are combined with other letters. Therefore, it is essential to adjust the format of your URL and exercise caution when generating your addresses. 

The following are some solutions to problems that are caused by underscores in URLs:

Use dashes in place of underscores

Regarding browsers and search engines like Google, dashes and hyphens are most often used for spaces in URLs. The upside is dashes are simpler to produce than underscores.

Use the plus sign for spaces

Regarding browsers and search engine optimization, plus signs (+) are treated the same as spaces. You can use this instead of dashes, but be aware that it’s considerably harder to encode using a regular keyboard because the Shift key is required.

Make the domain name simple and short

Even if you use a website builder like WordPress or WIX and end up with a fantastic result, the name you choose for your site is just as crucial. Remember that the more spaces there are in a domain name, the less readable it will be. It’s recommended that you eliminate any extra spaces in a domain name. If the server is capable of reading.htaccess files, you can utilize them to set up your domain.

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