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How Stop Words Plug Search Engines

“Stop! Don’t use that word in your title, Amy. It’s a STOP word.”

stop words plug search engines

Stop Words

“Peter, is it true that stop words plug search engines?”

“Yes, that’s true.”

I don’t have any other words to use. How do a figure out a keyword, title, or a slug without a stop word, Peter?

“Good question, Amy!”

“You mean it wasn’t a stupid question?”

“Nope. Amy, stop words are so common, they make up 25% of bloggers’ posts. Most bloggers don’t know how to get around them.”

“So what happens if you use them?”

Stop Words Plug Search Engines

Stop words are some words, which are partially or completely ignored by search engines.Words like, the, an, a, of, or, many, etc. Constitutes about 25% of the blog posts around the web….They often cause many problems to search engines like ambiguity, server load problems.” Google Stop Words: Everything You Should Know

I get that. Too many choices make me go in circles and become indecisive, too. Google wants to get us lots of choices within seconds. So it throws out the common words and tries to give searchers the nuggets of meaning first. I remember when searching for something gave crazy responses. A search for blue purses might reap everything from blue skies to blue tooth.

Plugins Battle Search Engines

Yoast SEO plugin constantly chirps at me to take the stop words out of my title, slug, headlines, and keywords. Sometimes I want to strangle Yoast SEO. I work and work to take out my stop words, but I just can’t.

Here’s why!

Filler words sometimes add meaning. Writers have to use stop words to improve the flow. The good news is that Google is getting smarter about filtering out stop words.

Like Santa, Google knows when you are being naughty or nice with your stop words. For example, The 99, means the State Highway 99, where 99 without the stop word, just means a number valued at 99. Google somehow knows the difference. Yay for a smarter Google.

My new Yoast SEO Plugin has opened my eyes to many mistakes I made during the past five years I’ve blogged. But what I am learning is that Google may be farther along than Yoast SEO Plugin. It’s a digital intelligence race to understand how the human mind works.

Websites often ask you to add horizontally. Computers cannot do that, but humans can. Humans think differently than their digital counterparts. Computers are trying to replicate our networking way of thinking. I guess we had better hope that they never can! We will become obsolete! 🙂


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Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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