Words I Try To Avoid – SEO Stop Words – Bad Words!

When I was a boy, my mother washed out my mouth with soap, for using a “bad word!”  Things were different then.  However, the Internet also has its share of bad words.  These are words that will hurt (or at least not help) you Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Since you are reading this post, I am going to assume that you care about your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) position.  So I am going to teach you how to avoid “bad words” with far less discomfort than my soapy mouth solution my mother used on me (but it did work and I am thankful for that!).

Profanity

The Internet had produced a far bigger list of profanity that the alphabet soup I grew up with.  Back then you just had to avoid the F word and the S word and you would be pretty much ok.  Today we have added a lot more.  Think about the V word (obnoxious sellers of pharmaceutical enhancements.  The V-word and any word than anyone thinks of as profanity will likely lower you general SERP position, except maybe within your niche.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations (and contractions) should not be in your <title> and <h1> tags.  Likewise it is smart to leave them out of your link text and and both title and alt attributes.  If you do use them, consider that a Search Engine may ignore them!

Stop Words

They really sound evil – Stop Words! But really they just stop you from using something meaningful and important.  Sort of like the old telegraph “STOP!”

A stop word is a word that Search Engines just ignore.  The reason is because they are so common they easily become meaningless.  Consider the meaning of 671 (at the time of this writing, if I counted correctly!) Stop Words I have written below.  These words and abbreviations really have little to no meaning by themselves.

Stop Words just take up space.  Now consider some real world limits:

  • HTML page title tags <title> should be roughly 70 characters or less.
  • HTML header one tags <h1> should likely be less than 70 characters.
  • Meta description are optimized at 155 characters (longer lengths are truncated).
  • Excerpts should come into play at less than 255 characters.

These are very important places and should contain some very important key phrases.  So if you are using Stop Words instead of keywords and key phrases, you are failing the SERP test!  Try NOT to use these words.

The one exception is an exact match phrase.  IF there is a phrase the is very meaningful, well known and important, you may want to look at that as one key phrase, even if it has ONE Stop Word in it.

Additional Stop Words.  When you are reading this list, count the single character (looks like headings) as a stop word also.  So “A” and “I” are part of these stop words also (as well as any single character in the alphabet).  Likewise, numbers, 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 are all stop words too.

However, you may want to use a number in a title, like “10 funny faces I made today!”

A

about
above
according
across
actually
ad
adj
ae
af
after
afterwards
ag
again
against
ai
al
all
almost
alone
along
already
also
although
always
am
among
amongst
an
and
another
any
anyhow
anyone
anything
anywhere
ao
aq
ar
are
aren
aren’t
around
arpa
as
at
au
aw
az

B

ba
bb
bd
be
became
because
become
becomes
becoming
been
before
beforehand
begin
beginning
behind
being
below
beside
besides
between
beyond
bf
bg
bh
bi
billion
bj
bm
bn
bo
both
br
bs
bt
but
buy
bv
bw
by
bz

C

ca
can
can’t
cannot
caption
cc
cd
cf
cg
ch
ci
ck
cl
click
cm
cn
co
co.
com
copy
could
couldn
couldn’t
cr
cs
cu
cv
cx
cy
cz

D

de
did
didn
didn’t
dj
dk
dm
do
does
doesn
doesn’t
don
don’t
down
during
dz

E

each
ec
edu
ee
eg
eh
eight
eighty
either
else
elsewhere
end
ending
enough
er
es
et
etc
even
ever
every
everyone
everything
everywhere
except

F

few
fi
fifty
find
first
five
fj
fk
fm
fo
for
former
formerly
forty
found
four
fr
free
from
further
fx

G

ga
gb
gd
ge
get
gf
gg
gh
gi
gl
gm
gmt
gn
go
gov
gp
gq
gr
gs
gt
gu
gw
gy

H

had
has
hasn
hasn’t
have
haven
haven’t
he
he’d
he’ll
he’s
help
hence
her
here
here’s
hereafter
hereby
herein
hereupon
hers
herself
him
himself
his
hk
hm
hn
home
homepage
how
however
hr
ht
htm
html
http
hu
hundred

I

i.e.
i’d
i’ll
i’m
i’ve
id
ie
if
ii
il
im
in
inc
inc
inc.
indeed
information
instead
int
into
io
iq
ir
is
isn
isn’t
it
it’s
its
itself

J

je
jm
jo
join
jp

K

ke
kg
kh
ki
km
kn
kp
kr
kw
ky
kz

L

la
last
later
latter
lb
lc
least
length
less
let
let’s
li
like
likely
lk
ll
lr
ls
lt
ltd
lu
lv
ly

M

ma
made
make
makes
many
maybe
mc
md
me
meantime
meanwhile
mg
mh
microsoft
might
mil
million
miss
mk
ml
mm
mn
mo
more
moreover
most
mostly
mp
mq
mr
mrs
ms
msie
mt
mu
much
must
mv
mw
mx
my
myself
mz

N

na
namely
nc
ne
neither
net
netscape
never
nevertheless
new
next
nf
ng
ni
nine
ninety
nl
no
nobody
none
nonetheless
noone
nor
not
nothing
now
nowhere
np
nr
nu
NULL
nz

O

of
off
often
om
on
once
one
one’s
only
onto
or
org
org
other
others
otherwise
our
ours
ourselves
out
over
overall
own

P

pa
page
pe
per
perhaps
pf
pg
ph
pk
pl
pm
pn
pr
pt
pw
py

Q

qa

R

rather
re
recent
recently
reserved
ring
ro
ru
rw

S

sa
same
sb
sc
sd
se
seem
seemed
seeming
seems
seven
seventy
several
sg
sh
she
she’d
she’ll
she’s
should
shouldn
shouldn’t
si
since
site
six
sixty
sj
sk
sl
sm
sn
so
some
somehow
someone
something
sometime
sometimes
somewhere
sr
st
still
stop
su
such
sv
sy
sz

T

taking
tc
td
ten
test
text
tf
tg
th
than
that
that’ll
that’s
the
their
them
themselves
then
thence
there
there’ll
there’s
thereafter
thereby
therefore
therein
thereupon
these
they
they’d
they’ll
they’re
they’ve
thirty
this
those
though
thousand
three
through
throughout
thru
thus
tj
tk
tm
tn
to
together
too
toward
towards
tp
tr
trillion
tt
tv
tw
twenty
two
tz

U

ua
ug
uk
um
under
unless
unlike
unlikely
until
up
upon
us
use
used
using
uy
uz

V

va
vc
ve
very
vg
vi
via
vn
vu

W

was
wasn
wasn’t
we
we’d
we’ll
we’re
we’ve
web
webpage
website
welcome
well
were
weren
weren’t
wf
what
what’ll
what’s
whatever
when
whence
whenever
where
whereafter
whereas
whereby
wherein
whereupon
wherever
whether
which
while
whither
who
who’d
who’ll
who’s
whoever
whole
whom
whomever
whose
why
width
will
with
within
without
won
won’t
would
wouldn
wouldn’t
ws
www

X

Y

ye
yes
yet
you
you’d
you’ll
you’re
you’ve
your
yours
yourself
yourselves
yt
yu

Z

za
zm
zr

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