Google Stop Words: The Definitive Guide + SEO Stop Words List (2018)

 

The debate on whether to use -or not- Google stop words seems never to end.

Some people claim that SEO stop words may hurt your SEO strategy, while others say they are unavoidable.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Google stop words.

Let’s get started…

1. Introduction to Google stop words

Google stop words, also called SEO stop words, are those words which tend to be partially or entirely ignored by search engines. Some examples are: the, an, a, of, or, many, etc. (Full list at the end of the post)

Statistics show that they are more or less the 25% of blog posts around the internet, but they don’t necessarily have anything to do with the content.

Search engines often ignore SEO stop words, in both search queries and results.

In fact, there is an actual list of stop words that are filtered out during a search, this to optimize some other aspects of the search.

From Google’s perspective, stop words are basically fluff that does not influence the search results being displayed.

2. Are SEO stop words harmful?

SEO Google stop words

There are many SEO stop words in a search, or in thousands of them at a time, may cause lags in load times, and also a level of ambiguity in the search results, all of it resulting in wrong information being showed up.

By eliminating stop words from their databases, Google is able to provide even faster and accurate search results for their users.

For example, if a person runs a search for “a carpenter in New Jersey,” the words “a” and “in” do not change the meaning of the rest of the words typed, so Google would leave them out and provide “carpenter New Jersey” results instead.

Some users type complete sentences like “What is the best bakery in London?”. After the algorithms filter the unnecessary words, Google shows “best bakery London” search results instead.

Google still provides the expected results, but without putting in as much work to generate them for the user.

3. Result pages and Google stop words

Yes, it seems like we are talking about a person, but this is something that may cause many problems to search engines at the moment of ranking a page, or also ambiguity in the search, server load problems, among others.

When users avoid stop words the filtering time is minimal delivering instant results.

One good example of this could be a blog ranking for the keyword, “what is meant by organic search” then it would also rank for “what is organic search” as the blogger might expect. Here, the stop word is “is meant by.”

The SERP comes up faster, saving a lot of time when ignoring these beautifying stop words.

4. When SEO stop words DO count?

Sometimes stop words are making phrases or sentences different.

In such cases, Google’s algorithm is smart enough to consider them, interpreting the meaning of the search query by looking at the words along the main keyword.

As complicated as it may sound is as simple as this: take a look at this two elements that may be searched by a user: “Matrix” and “The Matrix.”

One is a math concept, and the other is an epic movie.

In this example, the word “the” is the stop word. In the search results, the algorithm would consider the stop word because without it the meaning would be completely different.

Now comes the serious part….

5. Stop words according to the experts

Many SEO experts suggest that it is better to remove SEO stop words from the URL.

Even the widely popular Yoast WordPress SEO plugin follow this affirmation. They often suggest that including Google stop words might have an undesired effect in rankings, as well as making the URL much longer, and hence more difficult to remember.

SEO stop words

Would stop words hurt SEO? That is not entirely true. Any good search engine has the purpose of enhancing the users’ experience, and filtering out stop words could, in a huge percentage, spoil the users’ experience.

Stop words are necessary to be grammatically correct and add further meaning to sentences.

Search engines today are becoming smarter discouraging the idea that SEO stop words are completely bad when actually avoiding them completely would be unnatural and bad for the pages and users.

Conclusion

Stop words do not hurt SEO, their excessive usage does.

Make a good use of general words and keywords for any site, using stop words limitedly and only when necessary, that may count as the best practice in SEO, as far as Google is concerned.

Bonus: SEO stop words list for 2018

Here’s the full list of Google stop words keywords: 

a
about
above
after
again
against
all
am
an
and
any
are
as
at
be
because
been
before
being
below
between
both
but
by
could
did
do
does
doing
down
during
each
few
for
from
further
had
has
have
having
he
he'd
he'll
he's
her
here
here's
hers
herself
him
himself
his
how
how's
i
i'd
i'll
i'm
i've
if
in
into
is
it
it's
its
itself
let's
me
more
most
my
myself
nor
of
on
once
only
or
other
ought
our
ours
ourselves
out
over
own
same
she
she'd
she'll
she's
should
so
some
such
than
that
that's
the
their
theirs
them
themselves
then
there
there's
these
they
they'd
they'll
they're
they've
this
those
through
to
too
under
until
up
very
was
we
we'd
we'll
we're
we've
were
what
what's
when
when's
where
where's
which
while
who
who's
whom
why
why's
with
would
you
you'd
you'll
you're
you've
your
yours
yourself
yourselves
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