9 replies
  • SEO
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Hi guys

I just realised I made a massive cock up. i made an seo mistake on some of the hardest keywords to rank for for my most recent project.

Instead of hyphenating the page url for the inner pages i've put it all as one word.

I know that you're supposed to hyphenate the pages to show google it means a space between words.

Thing is i've already started my backlinking efforts for over a month now. Considerable effort has been put in. I'm so stupid I don't know how I managed to forget about it!

I just want to know from some of the experts on here...

How disterous is this?

Would it be better to start over and begin my backlinking campaign again? Or is it not THAT important and should i just carry on as normal.

Thanks guys.

David
#oops
  • Profile picture of the author Melvolio
    I think you should take that SEO 'fact' with a pinch of salt.

    It's going to make no difference to your campaign. Definitely don't start again.

    People argue on here all the time about whether hyphens are detrimental or not. If they are then the detriment is so minor as to be of no consequence whatsoever.
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    • Profile picture of the author birdman87
      thanks for that melvolio, that's a relief!!

      Just to clarify, i didn't mean the main domain name, that is all one word.

      e.g. it's mysite.com/mortgagebroker when it should be mysite.com/mortgage-broker

      i assume you understood that, just putting that just in case.

      i see everywhere that hyphens are important. i do wonder sometimes whether these seo 'rules' are really as important as people make out. i've made big mistakes in the past and pages have done really well.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Is there a lot of them?

      This is a perfect case for a 301 from old to new.
      Just recreate the pages using hyphens.

      Hyphens create a good user experience, as the
      visitor knows exactly what the page is about.

      But not all things require hyphens, although it is
      a good practice. If the words are clearly defined,
      such as "bigtiger," then no problem. If the words
      can be slurred, or repeating letters, it may be
      a problem. Like bestthings. Hard for a visitor to
      read, but maybe not for google. Another example
      is where many words can be formed from the
      order. Hard to come up examples off the top of
      my head, but certainly something like
      classexamples would beg for a hyphen between
      class and examples. The word ass and sex are
      in there. So is lass, exam, amp, etc. I've seen
      google put adsense ads on pages in reference to
      words that are not meant to be.

      The longer phrase, the more you should use hyphens.

      An underscore would fine, but the caution is that
      an underscore is rather meaningless. one_time is
      not as definite as one-time.

      So, if it's not a lot of work, just rename all pages with
      hyphens, 301 the old to the new. Or, if it's fairly new
      page, just delete them, start over, and have a
      custom 404 error page.

      Paul

      Paul
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      If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by birdman87 View Post

    I know that you're supposed to hyphenate the pages to show google it means a space between words.
    Whoever told you that, is an idiot.

    I should clarify that. For the user experience, yes it makes it easier. For search engines, not so much. In fact, I have seen some tests done that found hyphens to be a negative ranking factor, very, very slight, but negative nonetheless. Like Paul said below though, if there is a mixing of words that a hyphen can make clearer, it could be worthwhile to do. You do not want a search engine thinking a post has to do with 'sex' because the post is 'classexamples'.

    In the above example, if your title tag and H1 tags were 'Class Examples', I would like to think that search engines are smart enough to realize your post is not about sex and is about class examples instead.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMSince2003
    For SEO, it does not matter one bit. For a user experience, it also does not matter simply because they are not typing in your urls to visit pages, they are using the site's menu so it's a non-issue.
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    • Profile picture of the author birdman87
      Thanks for all your responses guys, really appreciate it. i love the WF! bit of a relief to know.

      I know this is a massive noob question but does a redirect send all of the link juice from the redirected page onto the new page?
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        Originally Posted by birdman87 View Post

        Thanks for all your responses guys, really appreciate it. i love the WF! bit of a relief to know.

        I know this is a massive noob question but does a redirect send all of the link juice from the redirected page onto the new page?
        Theoretically, but over time it wanes. Eventually the old will not
        even matter. If they are new pages, there's not much there anyway
        to matter much.

        Funny some of the responses. It does matter in some cases, as
        I stated above. Google's own SEO guide tells you to use hyphens,
        especially in cases I pointed out. A search engine has no idea
        what you mean and will guess. Why not help it make a good guess?
        There can be a BIG difference.

        Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author owenlee
    in the eye of google, they are both the same...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    Been there done that. Don't waste a second going back to change them as you can just add more with the right url as you move forward. I made the mistake of going back to change some...oh well live and learn.
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