Cutts: Google Honors The Underscore Now

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Another tweak to Google’s algorithm will allow the search engine to properly recognize an underscore as a word separator, making life much easier for WordPress and Movable Type bloggers.

Cutts: Google Honors The Underscore Now
Cutts: Google Honors The Underscore Now

Rejoice, ye persistent user of the underscore. Word has come from none other than Matt Cutts that after many years of treating the underscore as a word connector, it will now be a word separator.

News.com blogger Stephan Spencer relayed the joyous news in his post about WordCamp 2007, an event dedicated to WordPress users and developers. Matt spoke at one session, and included the underscore in his remarks:

One key development that Matt shared with the audience was that underscores in URLs are now (or at least very soon to be) treated as word separators by Google. That’s great news, because it historically hasn’t been that way. Back in 2005, Matt stated that Google did not view underscores in URLs as word separators.

It makes sense for Google to do this for a couple of reasons. First, it lets the algorithm pick out what may be highly relevant results for a query from among underscored URLs that it would have ignore previously. Second, the change should make Google Blogsearch even more effective.

Spencer’s account showed Matt was in a very giving mood, as the well-known Googler touched on several other points of interest. For example, he noted a query string in a URL won’t hurt a page’s ranking, but don’t have more than a couple of equal signs in the URL.

He also said getting a blog into Google News will only happen if the blog has multiple authors. But as far as Google using its status as a domain registrar to use registration information as a ranking factor, that’s just a myth.

Cutts: Google Honors The Underscore Now
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