• http://www.stephanspencer.com Stephan Spencer

    I don’t think I misinterpreted Matt. Decide for yourself. Listen to Matt’s talk, jumping to 17 minute mark in the video, and you will hear Matt say the following:

    The interesting thing is we used to treat underscores as if they were like word A underscore word B, we would glom that together and we would index that as A underscore B, so if you just searched for the word A, we wouldn’t return your post. Ah… We’re in the process of changing that. We might have already changed that. So dashes and underscores are almost exactly the same.

    Hmm… where am I not 100% correct with my coverage?

  • http://www.seroundtable.com rustybrick

    So what is going on here?

  • http://htp://searchengineland.com Danny Sullivan

    Stephan, here’s where you were not 100% correct with your coverage:

    “If you read Stephan Spencer’s write-up, he says that underscores are the same as dashes to Google now, and I didn’t quite say that in the talk.”

    That’s what Matt wrote, and that’s why Barry originally said that Matt (not us, Matt) was saying you weren’t correct in the report.

    Anyway, I’ve changed it now to just say “reports” and not name you specifically, since Matt said they were going to change it, might be changing it and that they are almost the same all in the same breath.

    Friggin hyphens. I mean lasers.

  • http://oliveuk.blogspot.com Mike Nicholson

    I have always been using dashes (just got used to and not because of some ranking benefits or anything of that sort). And i don’t think Google’s treating dashes and underscores as same will make any ranking differences. Google might be treating them as same now, but i don’t think they made much difference earlier also.

  • http://www.hikingmike.com/ hikingmike

    Ok so I am 4 years late. Do we know if they are completely treated identically now?  I doubt that searching using dashes and underscores is a valid way to test but when I tried I got different results. I’ve been using underscores and I would definitely switch if dashes were better. I will try testing but that takes time and gives an uncertain result.