From blog titles to URL slugs, you may not realize how often you use SEO stopwords. But to be fair, if Google doesn’t pay much attention to them, why should you? Research shows that 25% of blog posts are made up of stopwords. However, these words have little or no relevance to the topic of the post. These are words that help you compose sentences and connect ideas, and they don’t have much of an impact on Google search results. However, overuse of stopwords can affect your brand in the long run. They make content more difficult for search engines to process, which can end up negatively affecting how your pages index. In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly what SEO stopwords are, how they can harm (or help) your online presence, and which words are considered stopwords by Google and other search engines.
What are stopwords in SEO?
We use empty words all the time, whether we are online or in our everyday life. These are the articles, prepositions, and phrases that connect keywords and help us form complete and coherent sentences. Common words such as its, an, the, for, and that are considered stopwords. While important for verbal communication, stopwords are often of little SEO significance and are often ignored by search engines. Let’s review some of the more common stopwords in the next section.
Common SEO stop words
The most common SEO stopwords are pronouns, articles, prepositions, and conjunctions. This includes words like a, an, the, and, it, for, or, but, in, my, your, our, and their. When people search for something online, search engines like Google omit these words from their results because they are not related to the keywords in the search. So instead of searching for content related to these words, Google removes them entirely and prioritizes the keywords. So the next time you’re trying to count words when writing a blog post, try filling that open space with keywords instead of filler text that doesn’t improve your SEO. While it would be great to load your content with only meaningful keywords, the reality is that stopwords are needed for every type of copy. After all, even if you rank high on Google, it won’t mean much if your content is incomprehensible or doesn’t resonate with your audience.
Are Stop Words Good For SEO?
There is a time and place for SEO empty words. First of all, stopwords help the reader understand the content. It can be confusing to read titles and subtitles without empty words. You can also find cases where stopwords help you differentiate between two topics. For example, you can search for “flamingos” and you will see information about beautiful, bright pink birds. Add ‘the’ to the front, and you’ll be directed to YouTube to listen to the band, The Flamingos. This little three letter stop word makes a big difference in this case. In the next section, let’s look at other times when you should pay attention to stopwords to optimize the search ranking of your content.
Remove empty words
Should you remove stopwords from all your content? Like anything else, it depends on how you use them. If your titles, headings, URL slugs, and keywords make sense without them, it may be beneficial to remove them.
SEO Stop Words in titles
If your titles don’t make sense when you pull out those articles or prepositions, then it’s best to leave them at that. After all, you want your audience to click and read your content. If the most prominent parts, including the title, don’t make sense, the website could appear unprofessional or even spam. It generally makes more sense to leave empty words in titles and headings as they are targeting elements for users browsing your content. Just keep in mind that the optimal character count for titles is 50-60 characters, as search engines cut off longer titles, which could miss out on important information for the visitor. If you have long stopwords in your title, consider rewriting them to balance brevity and clarity.
Stop Words in URL slugs
When it comes to URL slugs, stopwords generally don’t matter much in SEO. However, they are relevant if they make your URL particularly long. Google classify urls based on their length, and longer URLs typically rank lower than shorter ones, as described in the table below.
Stop Words as keywords
As we mentioned in the last section, there are times when stopwords are crucial for keywords because they differentiate a proper name from something else. For example, if you searched for “Jets New York,” you will probably get a list of flights in and out of New York City. But, if you searched for “The New York Jets,” you’d get content about the professional soccer team. Now that we’re familiar with what stopwords are and when we should use them, let’s look at a broader list of stopwords that you should be aware of when creating and optimizing content.
75 empty words in SEO
There are many, many more stopwords, but here is a list of some of the most common stopwords to consider when creating content online. A About Actually Almost Also Although I Am Always An And Anyone Is As In Being Became In But By May I Would Have Towards Each Other By From Had Has Therefore How I If In ES IS ONLY MAY MAYBE Mine Mine Must My mine owes my neither nor no of Oh Ok When Where Where Where Where When Always If Which While Who Who Who Who Whose Why Why With Inside Without Who
Using SEO Stop Words
SEO stopwords are important if you want to create a solid SEO strategy and ranks high on search engines like Google. Using them excessively can hamper your ranking, but avoiding them altogether will make your content confusing and unclear. By understanding what stopwords are and what words qualify as stopwords, you can create content that works to benefit your brand. For more ways to rank higher in search engines, read these SEO tips.