Stop Words: Everything You Should Know

According to the Illinois Institute of Technology, stop words are very common words or adjectives that can hinder your SEO efforts. These words like, ‘of ‘ , ‘or’, and ‘the’ interfere with your SEO, especially when it comes to page and blog titles. Download the full list of stop words here — Google Stop Words.



Keyword Density

Why? Well, it’s quite simple. But first, I’d like to go over keyword density, which is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. This is how search engines determine how relevant a page or blog post is to the reader. The same is true for titles. Search engines analyze this keyword ratio and the stronger your keyword density is, the better your ranking.

Aside from a website’s URL, a website’s page titles are the most important on-page factor for SEO. Because of this, it is critical to get them right the first time.


Character Space

Every word you type uses up character space. For search engines, anything over 65-70 characters (including spaces) will not be read, so you want to make sure your titles are concise and high in keyword density. Many SEO experts consider the optimum keyword density to be 2-10 percent, but it’s not an exact science. For example, which title would have better keyword density:

  • Mobile and Devices – Tips for Your Business – Web Strategies Internet Solutions, LLC
  • Mobile Phone Marketing Tips | Web Strategies
Without doing any calculations, I can see that Mobile Phone Marketing Tips | Web Strategies has better keyword density or ratio of keywords to total words.


Keyword Stuffing

It’s worth noting what Google says on keyword stuffing, too:

Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose). Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context. For example, “We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at”


That being said, stop words are necessary for sentences and therefore blog posts. They fill meaning to the sentences, so while I’m not a huge advocate of reducing stop words in actual content, page and blog titles should still avoid them. As a rule, bloggers and content writers should use stop words limitedly and not use them unnecessarily. Save your stop words for the meta description and write the Title to be the best for your searcher to help provide the best explanation for what that specific page consists of.

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