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SEO URL stop words

For SEO purposes, Stop Words are a group of words that you should avoid using in your page URLs. A search engine views them as useless data.

Wikipedia defines stop words as:

In computing, stop words are words which are filtered out prior to, or after, processing of natural language data (text). It is controlled by human input and not automated. There is not one definite list of stop words which all tools use, if even used. Some tools specifically avoid using them to support phrase search.

The list I typically use is from Armand Brahaj’s article on stop words. Perhaps his description of stop words is easier to understand:

Stop Words are words which do not contain important significance to be used in Search Queries. Usually these words are filtered out from search queries because they return vast amount of unnecessary information.

Basically, stop words are words you don’t want to use in page URLs because they’re irrelevant. In some cases, I assume, they would also be considered spammy. Removing stop words from your page URLs would also conceivably make your pages easier for a search engine to index., which one can only assume would help your page’s ranking.

Luckily for WordPress publishers, there’s the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. It’s an incredible plugin built by Joost de Valk. On the post composition screen, a new meta box will appear at the bottom, and if you click the “Page Analysis” tab it will warn you about stop words in you’re page URL. It also will warn you about various other SEO factors to consider. The Flesch Reading Ease rating is very help for creating good content. The keyword density report is also helpful when your SEO efforts get a little too overzealous. It’s not perfect, but it makes creating search engine optimized content much easier.

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