Domain Names: Hyphens or Underscores

Matt Cutts finally decided to produce another post about using hyphens and underscores in domain names. It’s not often that he does – so I’m always grateful to see him update Google’s position. As you’ll see in this video, it’s still very clear that hyphenated domain names are not penalized over those without hyphens.

I also found it interesting how Google sees underscores. I can only assume that Google treats underscores the same way whether in a domain name or in copy. It seems to all stem from the days when search engines weren’t that savvy.

Programmers – even those at Google – would find themselves searching for computer related topics. Many of these programs and ideas used underscores in their name. Thus TMP_MAX really was the name of something. The underscore wasn’t a placeholder – it was in fact a useful character. So early in Google’s career – the programmers made sure that an underscore actually meant something – not just another [space].

Here’s Matt Cutts:

If you’re looking for real life examples of successful hyphenated domain names – read this post: