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Google Still Says Underscores In URLs Are Not Recommended, Use Hyphens

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Google Still Says Underscores In URLs Are Not Recommended, Use Hyphens

Gary Illyes from Google reiterated that it is still best for SEO purposes to use hyphens as separators in your URLs over using underscores are separators in your URLs. Why? Gary explained “we can’t easily segment at underscore and that’s why we are recommending dashes.”

This came up in the latest Search Off The Record podcast at the 17 minute mark or so where Martin Splitt mentioned “That’s why brevity for me is important as well. Yes, sure, you can use a URL shortener, but then you get links, like, I don’t know, something.something/8907d12. And I’m like, yeah, that’s not easy to remember at all. But if it’s like “mobile-friendly-test” and I can remember that. But if it’s “mobile_friendly-test” or something like that. And it’s like “ugh!” But Gary, you said there’s a difference.”

Gary responded saying “There’s a difference and that’s in our segmenter. Basically we use some parts of the URL for understanding what the page is about. And the way it works is that we need to be careful about where we are segmenting because many things on the internet, things that people write about have an underscore in them, so we can’t easily segment at underscore and that’s why we are recommending dashes.”

Here is the embed:

Now, there is a ton of history here on underscores versus hyphens in URLs and what Google has said about them before. In 2007, Matt Cutts of Google told us to use hyphens / dashes over underscores and clarified that he did not say that Google treated them equally. He did in 2017 say he want Google to treat underscores as separators but didn’t seem successful back then. In 2016, John Mueller said underscores vs. dashes doesn’t matter.

So I guess it still does matter, as this is the latest information from Google – that hyphens/dashes are still recommended over underscores for word separators in URLs.

One big caveat – I would not change established URLs just to add hyphens – that would be a horrible idea.

Forum discussion at Twitter.



Source: www.seroundtable.com

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Microsoft Bing Event Today – Expecting ChatGPT Search Integration

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Bing Phone Typing

I am currently in Seattle and headed to the Microsoft Campus in Redmond for an in-person press event. I decided to go, assuming it would be related to ChatGPT and Bing but Microsoft would not tell me what it was about, nor would Microsoft let us say we are going to the event. Then yesterday at 2pm, when the news broke about Google Bard (story will be here), Microsoft said we can talk about the event.

So the news is out there that there is a event, see Techmeme. The email Microsoft sent says, “Microsoft has some exciting news coming in February and we’d like to invite you to an in-person experience at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond.”

“We can’t share a lot more at this stage, but you won’t want to miss it. This invitation is for you only, but if you’re unable to attend please let us know and we’ll see if we can consider another of your teammates,” Microsoft added.

Then after the Google news came out, Microsoft sent an email saying, “In light of recent announcements, you may now acknowledge your participation in tomorrow’s briefing in Redmond, leveraging the language in the briefing invitation.”

So yea, this press event seems to be about the Bing ChatGPT solution. I am very much looking forward to seeing what Microsoft Bing has to show here and I’ll be sharing the news here, on Search Engine Land and likely will be tweeting a ton @rustybrick. So make sure to follow me on Twitter to see the latest from Bing on this news.

And we have this photo of Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft with Sam Altman of OpenAI together last night:

I am expecting this to look a lot like the Bing ChatGPT interface leaks we covered earlier. Here are those screenshots:

Here is the home page screenshot that widens and enlarges the search box and says “Ask me anything”:

click for full size

Here is his screenshot of the results, the answers being returned:

click for full size

And here is the GIF he made of this:

Bing Search Chat Interface

More to come soon.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.



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Google Search People Cards Visible In US

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Google Man Cards

Back in 2020, Google Search introduced a feature named people cards. It was only available in India but now it seems like it might be expanding, as I can now see it in the United States.

Brian Freiesleben’s card, which he created when it was first announced by spoofing his location to be in India, is now showing up as a people card for searchers in the United States. Personally, I was able to bring it up on my mobile device in New York.

Here is a screenshot he shared of this on Twitter:

click for full size

He said, “I found my name now triggers a ‘people card’. This was introduced in Google India back in 2020. I spoofed my location back then to create the card and now (finally) it’s appearing.”

Glenn Gabe was able to replicate it as well:

Forum discussion at Twitter.



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Google Search Bard, It’s ChatGPT Feature, To Trusted Testers

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Google Bard Butler Graphic

Well, we knew it was coming and here it is, Bard – Google’s answer to ChatGPT. Google is now having its trusted testers test out Bard and will soon roll it out more widely to users in Google Search and others products in the coming weeks, Google announced. It is not called Apprectice Bard but rather Bard.

I covered this when the news broke at Search Engine Land and as I pointed out, right now, Google does not have an answer for how to attribute or link to answers Bard generates – yet. But I do suspect Google will have some answer for it. I also mentioned that Google has been writing knowledge panels using AI and other methods since 2018 and said then it is not stealing. So it will be interesting to see what Google ends up doing here.

Bard is Google’s experimental conversational AI service, powered by LaMDA, where Google can answer questions that might not have one right answer. Google said they will roll this out more widely in the coming weeks but for now, only trusted testers (who is outsourced to a third-party company) will be able to play with it.

Google said, “Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going deeper on a related topic, like steps to get started as a beginner. These new AI features will begin rolling out on Google Search soon.”

Here is a screenshot they shared of how it might look in Google Search:

Google Bard in Google Search

This is how it might look like in Google Search (without the attribution part…).

This is the Bard direct interface, not in search:

Google Bard GIF

I am super excited to see how this evolves at Google, Bing and others.

It is not too far off from the leaks of the Bing ChatGPT interface.

Here is Sundar Pichai’s tweets:

Here is some of the SEO community reaction:

Also, make sure to check out the roundup at Techmeme.

Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld.



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