Stop! Its SEO Time - SEO Stop Words
I was having a conversation with one of my SEO cohorts last night about URLs and it got me thinking about “Stop Words.” For those not familiar, most search engines do not consider many common terms in order to speed up their results and/or space. One question that you may be asking is why is this important, why should I care? If you use these words in titles, keywords, links, headers, or tags, this can and usually causes the search engines to literally stop. In other words, if your key phrase comes after a stop word, the search engine will never see it and therefore not properly rank your content.
Now, this DOES NOT mean that you can’t rank for or go after a key phrase with a stop word in it. It just makes it harder for the terms to rank properly. For example, let’s say a heating and air company is targeting the phrase “heating and air Pittsburgh.” The “and” in this phrase actually causes the term to not rank properly. If one was to look at the analytics of the site you they will see that the search queries are all over the board with different variations of the targeted phrase. This will eventually be remedied by establishing relevancy, time and proper off site strategy but stop words need to be considered when developing a targeted keyword list and especially when you are structuring your URL’s, Title and Descriptions.
I was familiar with the most common, being “and,” “are” & “the” however, there are more. Below is a list comprised of the more common stop words *Note there are many, many more.
Common Stop Words:
Good luck my fellow SEO’s. I would like to know other stop words that you come across. Please feel free to comment!