Stop Words and Impact on SEO

stop-words-seo

Stop words are the most common words in a language. These extremely common words can be excluded from a sentence without changing the meaning of that sentence. Stop words are cleared out before or after processing of natural language data or text in normal computing routine.

In SEO terminology, these are the most common words that most search engines avoid, saving space and time in processing large data during crawling or indexing. This helps search engines to save space in their databases.

Say for example:

when you search for a query “How to make a cake”

Search Engines usually ignore: ‘How’, ‘to’ and ‘a’ words and they specifically search for “Make”+“cake”.

Google Hummingbird and Stop Words

google hummingbird

Hummingbird is a significant change in the Google algorithm in 2013. Hummingbird impacts highly on natural language queries, especially when it comes to context and meaning over individual keywords. It also looks deeper at content on individual pages of a site, with enhanced ability to provide search results containing most appropriate page rather than a homepage.

The update marked the momentous change to Google search in years, with more user-friendly search interactions. Thus, publishers and writers were encouraged to optimize their websites with natural writing rather than forced keywords and keyword stuffing.

This update enabled Google to understand the content of the webpage better. Now Google can handle stop words better than before. With Hummingbird, Google can handle long tail keywords.

Google algorithm updates also have a slight impact on Stop words and impact in SEO. We will discuss the impact os stop words on SEO in the coming sections.

How Stop Words can affect SEO

Stop words generally won’t hurt your SEO. But it is preferred to avoid stop words in order to avoid lengthy title or URL. Stop words can waste space. This is more concerning when the search result will not display your URL, title or description completely due to lengthy content. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid stop words from On-Page SEO factors like URLs, titles, and descriptions whenever possible without compromising readability.

Avoid the use of stops words in the following:

  • Page title tags
  • Web page URLs
  • Meta descriptions (Do not compromise readability)
  • Image Alt text
  • Keywords (If applicable)

Below is a list of stop words that are ignored by search engines:

The list of stop words given below will help you to understand what are common stop words used by search engines. Ideally, these stop words should be avoided by using in any metadata of your website, provided it won’t affect readability or keyword.

A

able
about
above
abroad
according
accordingly
across
actually
after
afterwards
again
against
ago
ahead
ain’t
all
allow
allows
almost
alone
along
alongside
already
also
although
always
am
amid
amidst
among
amongst
an
and
another
any
anybody
anyhow
anyone
anything
anyway
anyways
anywhere
apart
appear
appreciate
appropriate
are
aren’t
around
as
aside
ask
asking
associated
at
available
away
awfully

B

back
backward
be
became
because
become
becomes
becoming
been
before
beforehand
begin
behind
being
believe
below
beside
besides
best
better
between
beyond
both
brief
but
by

C

came
can
cannot
cant
can’t
caption
cause
causes
certain
certainly
changes
clearly
c’mon
come
comes
concerning
consequently
consider
considering
contain
containing
contains
corresponding
could
couldn’t
course
currently

D

dare
daren’t
definitely
described
despite
did
didn’t
different
directly
do
does
doesn’t
doing
done
don’t
down
downwards
during

E

each
eight
eighty
either
else
elsewhere
end
ending
enough
entirely
especially
etc
even
ever
evermore
every
everybody
everyone
everything
everywhere
ex
exactly
example
except

F

fairly
far
farther
few
fewer
fifth
first
five
followed
following
follows
for
forever
former
formerly
forth
forward
found
four
from
further
furthermore

G

get
gets
getting
given
gives
go
goes
going
gone
got
gotten
greetings

H

had
hadn’t
half
happens
hardly
has
hasn’t
have
haven’t
having
he
he’d
he’ll
hello
help
hence
her
here
hereafter
hereby
herein
here’s
hereupon
hers
herself
he’s
hi
him
himself
his
hither
hopefully
how
however
hundred

I

i’d
if
ignored
i’ll
i’m
immediate
in
inc
inc.
indeed
indicate
indicated
indicates
inner
inside
instead
into
inward
is
isn’t
it
it’d
it’ll
its
it’s
itself
i’ve

J

just

K

keep
keeps
kept
know
known
knows

L

last
lately
later
latter
latterly
least
less
lest
let
let’s
like
liked
likely
likewise
little
look
looking
looks
low
lower

M

made
mainly
make
makes
many
may
maybe
mayn’t
me
mean
meantime
meanwhile
merely
might
mine
minus
miss
more
moreover
most
mostly
mr
mrs
much
must
mustn’t
my
myself

N

name
namely
near
nearly
necessary
need
needn’t
needs
neither
never
neverf
neverless
nevertheless
new
next
nine
ninety
no
nobody
non
none
nonetheless
nor
normally
not
nothing
notwithstanding
novel
now
nowhere

O

obviously
of
off
often
oh
ok
okay
old
on
once
one
ones
one’s
only
onto
opposite
or
other
others
otherwise
ought
oughtn’t
our
ours
ourselves
out
outside
over
overall
own

P

particular
particularly
past
per
perhaps
placed
please
plus
possible
presumably
probably
provided
provides

Q

que
quite

R

rather
really
reasonably
recent
recently
regarding
regardless
regards
relatively
respectively
right
round

S

said
same
saw
say
saying
says
second
secondly
see
seeing
seem
seemed
seeming
seems
seen
self
selves
sensible
sent
serious
seriously
seven
several
shall
shan’t
she
she’d
she’ll
she’s
should
shouldn’t
since
six
so
some
somebody
someday
somehow
someone
something
sometime
sometimes
somewhat
somewhere
soon
sorry
specified
specify
specifying
still
sub
such
sure

T

take
taken
taking
tell
tends
than
thank
thanks
thanx
that
that’ll
thats
that’s
that’ve
the
their
theirs
them
themselves
then
thence
there
thereafter
thereby
there’d
therefore
therein
there’ll
there’re
there’s
there’s
thereupon
there’ve
these
they
they’d
they’ll
they’re
they’ve
thing
things
think
third
thirty
this
thorough
thoroughly
those
though
three
through
throughout
thru
thus
till
to
together
too
took
toward
towards
tried
tries
truly
try
trying
twice
two

U

under
underneath
undoing
unfortunately
unless
unlike
unlikely
until
unto
up
upon
upwards
us
use
used
useful
uses
using
usually

V

value
various
versus
very
via
vs
vs.

W

want
wants
was
wasn’t
way
we
we’d
welcome
well
we’ll
went
were
we’re
weren’t
we’ve
what
whatever
what’ll
what’s
what’ve
when
whence
whenever
where
whereafter
whereas
whereby
wherein
where’s
whereupon
wherever
whether
which
whichever
while
whilst
whither
who
who’d
whoever
whole
who’ll
whom
whomever
who’s
whose
why
will
willing
wish
with
within
without
wonder
won’t
would
wouldn’t

Y

yes
yet
you
you’d
you’ll
your
you’re
yours
yourself
yourselves
you’ve

Z

zero

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