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Using-Hyphens-In-Your-Lens-URL (for Google AND visitors)

Posted on Jun 13 2007

You know when you create a lens you get to choose what URL you want? (what’s a URL? Basically, the address of a page).

You get to choose whatever goes where these X’s are: 

It is largely agreed upon that having hyphens separating words is a good thing, as far as your google ranking is concerned.

Hyphens-as-opposed-to-underscores.  Underscores_are_thought_to_be_not_as_effective. NorAreWordsThatJustRunOnAndOnLikeOneBigWord.

As a general rule, I would say that if you have more than 1 word in the URL you should think about adding hyphens.

As an example, I preferred to choose for one of my lenses instead of

The name of that movie is often abbreviated to little shop, so if I was choosing that as the URL I would probably want it to be instead of

It’s small enough to look neat as a run-on word.

If it’s not small enough to be neat as a little run-on word, consider hyphens instead of lettingthewholesentencelookassillyasthis!

This way you’re making it easier for people to read the link they’re clicking, and easier for the google computers to differentiate between words.

As a joke I started this lens a while ago:

– Lewis 🙂

Lewis Smile

Lewis Smile is a Writer, Blogger, Web Geek, and very much a daydreamer. He helps people for a living, and works online. See the Contact Info page to say hi. Find out more about him here.

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  1. Anne says:


    I agree that using hyphens is a very effective technique. I’ve been using them for several months, and it does seem that Google picks up my pages (on my web site as well) fairly quickly. And it is much easier to read.


  2. mrlewissmile says:

    Hi Anne,

    Another useful point is how all the major blogging services (including blogger – owned by google) automatically format the web addresses of new blog posts with hyphens.

    Thanks for stopping by here Anne!

    – Lewis

  3. B Carter says:

    I have noticed that you do this in quite a few of your lenses and I was wondering if I should be doing this myself.

    Now I know, thanks for the info. Keep up the great blog.

  4. mrlewissmile says:

    There be no Squidoo secrets on these here shores… 🙂

  5. Hyphens rule!

    On a related note, I don’t like how Squidoo suggests tags which are runtogether (i.e. no spaces). I really can’t see how they can be of any use for a lens. What do you think?


  6. mrlewissmile says:

    Hi Fluff,

    The run-on tags they suggest do seem pretty ridiculous.

    You will see a post about that soon!

  7. Marlon says:

    I used double hyphens, i.e. — between the words becuase the pharase i wanted was taken. Any thoughts?

  8. Jacqueline says:

    Hi, really great blog. I just found you and was reading over some older posts. Glad I did! I wish I knew about this earlier. Oh well, hyphens from now on. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  9. Mart903 says:

    Hi, Lewis

    Thanks for so much advice.

    For URL effectiveness, how should one go about uppercase and lowercase letters?

  10. MrLewisSmile says:

    @Mart903 I would recommend lowercase! It doesn’t really matter though I don’t think, but if nothing else lowercase looks better. Good luck!

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