Book a Call
Content Marketing / What Are SEO Stop Words?

What Are SEO Stop Words?

Enjoying this article?
Share it on social media!

A search engine optimizes its database for each search by removing certain words from results. These words are known as "stop words." The primary purpose of these stop words is to make it easier for a person to browse through a website's content. For example, "how" and "the" would be removed because they do not pertain to any individual query. If you are interested in optimizing your website for better ranking, one of the most important elements is choosing a page title that accurately describes your page's topic. For example, if you've written a blog post about something that includes cats, then "How to Keep Your Cat From Scratching Your Laptop" would be a good title.

Most people avoid adding stop words to the page title because search engines don't count them or penalize them. However, there is a way to add stop words without removing them. Simply use the hyphen (-) character to note your page title. Be careful, though, as adding this punctuation mark may result in penalties instead of rewards.

SEO stop words are "empty" words that don't add anything to a URL. You want to avoid these for SEO purposes, so the content of your web pages is relevant to people's search queries. Your URL can stay relevant by building it with keywords, metatags, or comment terms. Some common SEO stop words are:

  •  the
  • an
  • a
  • of
  • or
  • many

This article will also discuss that some stop words may not be as common, but you should still avoid them. In early 2017, Google began to limit the volume of URLs used in its index. This change was called the "Behave Update," but it was also known as the "Shopping Express Update" or "Google Shopping Update." The move affected many websites, and web admins everywhere struggled to remain relevant and rank well. With no new wave of updates, many web admins gave up on their sites or moved to other words of opportunity.

Are Stop Words Bad for SEO?

Google has removed stop words from the index by default, but you can force the index to include them. Other search engines such as Bing have stopped right away and included no stop words on their pages. Keep in mind that this is not a clear indication of a penalty. Some SEO experts believe that these words are outdated and not a good way to describe a page's content. The only thing you can do is test it yourself, but don't be disappointed if nothing happens.

One of the reasons Google stopped including stop words on its pages is to improve the user experience. These are used in Chrome to help users navigate a website's catalog. Many people don't know that these words are considered stop words.

There are ways to circumvent SEO stop words. For example, SEO Guy Toolkit developed the "SEO Stop Words Checker" for Firefox and Chrome browsers, showing you the words' results, including the most successful ones. The SEO Stop Word Checker uses some information from Google, so it is a good start since they have a lot of experience with this.

SEO stop words

Do SEO Stop Words Affect Search Engine Rankings?

SEO has never been a simple process, and you should consider various factors for each SEO campaign. SEO stop words may affect a page's ranking, though it is still debatable how much it can change. When calculating search engine rankings, there are many different aspects to consider, such as the quality and comprehensiveness of a website's content.

Content quality is essential because it may increase the chances of being found in search engine results. If you are ranking high in search engine results, you need to ensure that the content associated with those pages is relevant and up-to-date.

Below, you can find some of the most important talking points when it comes to SEO stop words.

Removing Stop Words

Many experts swear that removing stop words can help them increase their rankings, but it isn't a universal take. The fact is that removing stop words can help you to improve your Google rankings, but it can also affect the site's compatibility with other search engines. It may also pose a problem with some website themes since they may not support hyphens in URLs.

SEO Stop Words in Titles

A title will look better without stop words, and it will typically be more readable. However, this doesn't apply to the content of the pages. Many SEO specialists believe that stop words don't have a functional purpose because they don't help rankings. Therefore, removing or not including them will inevitably be a better decision for search engines.

In the past, Google did not penalize pages for having too many stop words in its page titles, but it does now. The reason is that some people don't know how to include specific words in their titles when creating content.

SEO stop words

Stop Words in URL Slugs

Many SEO specialists believe that stop words in URL slugs can hurt SEO. Many argue that it is better to remove them. In most cases, URL slugs are more difficult for search engines to index if there are too many stop words. Because of this, SEO specialists will advise you to take out some words so the page can be easily indexed and ranked by search engines.e

Stop Words as Keywords

Some SEO specialists believe that keywords should include stop words. These SEO specialists claim that incorporating stop words in web pages may help a page gain more exposure to search engines. However, this is only beneficial if the page has the right content because usually, stop words are replaceable with more relevant keywords.s

Are Stop Words Beneficial for SEO?

The answer to this question depends on many factors. The most important things you need to consider are the number of stop words on a web page and how relevant they are to the actual content. If these are terms that people may want to see on your page, you should use them. For example, if you have a page about cats and use "cat" as a keyword, it might be beneficial for you to keep using "cat" in your keywords. Google has excluded these words for a reason, so you should probably stop using them.

You can still use stop words to create relevant content or be more specific and comprehensive within your posts. And if you are looking to rank higher in search engine results, you will need all the help you can get. We have already established that stop words are not beneficial to your SEO rankings, but they can help give your pages more exposure to search engines.


It is not easy to choose what words to include and which to leave out when creating content for your website. However, you first need to determine if it will benefit your SEO rankings or if the stop words have no functional purpose. If you decide that they will be beneficial, you should keep them in the overall content.

We at Bright Vessels believe that you should include all the words discussed in your industry because many people are interested in the topic, not just those who want to read a review. Contact us today to discuss your SEO and SEM needs.

Enjoyed this article?
Share it on social media!

Check out another blog post!

Back to all Blog posts

Let’s work together!

© 2024 Bright Vessel. All rights reserved.