Google will soon be adapted to treat underscores as word separators in the same way as it does dashes.

Speaking at the Word Camp conference in San Francisco this week, Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed that the search engine will be optimised to allow underscores to separate words in online searches.

According to Cnet News, up until now any benefit that a site would have by using a keyword-rich URL would be negated by using underscores to separate those words.

The website claims that the change in the algorithm will be good news for bloggers who use the TypePad service or Movable Type software as well as anyone who uses underscores in their URLs as it should increase their traffic.

Recent research carried out by researchers at the Queensland University of Technology and Pennsylvania State University found that the top four search engines were coming up with drastically different results.

The research found that overlaps from first-page results were less than one per cent across Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Ask.

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