SEO results better with dashes or underscores?

I just got off a call with a client and a client of my client. On that call was a developer from a Denver based web development firm that also does SEO. On the call the developer stated that dashes are no better than underscores when it comes to SEO optimization and ranking. I almost feel out of my chair. I didn’t say anything because it wasn’t my place to do since this was a client of my client. But I darn sure had a call with my client afterward and let her know that the developer on the phone was not very competent.

There are several sources of irrefutable proof that dashes are better but my favorite is a very in depth post from Paul at Pioneer Websites that shows pictorially why dashes are better. I’m really tired of people who claim to be experts that give misinformation to clients. It makes it really hard for those of us who try hard to make sure we are always telling the truth. Alas, it just oges to show that you can be mediocre and still make money even in this tight economy.

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Are users really as dumb as we make them out to be?

The foobar blog recently put up a post titled Fake popup study: Users are idiots? I don’t think so…. I think the post was right on. Too often we in the software industry make user interfaces that are way too complicated. We tend to include too many buttons, icons and graphics many of which are indecipherable to the average user.

Users aren’t stupid they just aren’t technophiles like those of us who choose to work in the technology arena. My philosophy has always been to develop interface for the average Joe/Jill not someone who lives on their computer. You can never make an interface too simple or too intuitive.

What do you think?