Stop Words

Stop Words

Stop words are words that search engines don’t consider because they’re so common. They can be your best friend or worst enemy, so let’s look at how to use them effectively. Here is a list of stop words.

The Dangers: Stop Words in Titles

Because titles are brief phrases, clogging them with stop words detracts from what you’re trying to say.

Bad: Instead of Worrying About Keyword Density, Focus on Content

Better: Content Trumps Keyword Density

Bad: She’ll Really Love Our New Eco-Friendly Nail Polish

Better: New! Eco-Friendly Nail Polish by Company Name

In the first example, I removed all stop words because I could easily do so. In the second example, the title sounded best with some stop words, so I left some in. In both cases, though, I removed all unnecessary stop words.

The Benefits: Stop Words in Sentences

Unlike titles, your sentences aren’t limited to a handful of words, so you can use stop words without worrying about them detracting from your keywords.

Of course, you should still cut all unnecessary words, but stop words aren’t always unnecessary. In fact, stop words can help you incorporate your keywords.

I gave an example in Natural Keyword Integration of breaking up an awkward keyword phrase with a stop word. Situations like that are the best way to use stop words to your benefit.

Bad: Our best choice for young homeowners. This kitchen pots set under $100.

Better: Our best choice for young homeowners. This kitchen pots set is under $100.

Because search engines don’t pay attention to the word “is”, including a stop word doesn’t affect our keyword “kitchen pots set under $100”. However, the keyword does give us a grammatical sentence, which is what readers want.

Learn More: