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The keywords for our site comprises of words which are google stop words

namely:

thank you

Is it better to write this as:

thank-you

or

thankyou

or does it make any difference?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Google is smart enough to know that "thank-you" and "thankyou" both mean "thank you". So trying to obfuscate it would be pointless.

Stop words are basically so common that trying to rank pages for them are pretty pointless. I wouldn't be optimistic about attaining rankings for them directly. Instead I would focus on alternative keywords that are synonyms and long tail search terms that use those search terms.

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We target a really niche market, Where we don't target the keywords "thank you" specifically but use them together with variants to build terms targeted at the market. The reason I was interested is that our competitors have the "thankyou" and "thank-you" combination as part of their URL as a category to their products –  Craig Angus Oct 28 '10 at 23:55
    
That's probably due to automated software that generates the URLs for them based on the page title or headers. That's how wordpress creates its slugs. –  John Conde Oct 29 '10 at 0:01
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How do you know that the words are stop words?

Stop words have a very specific definition - here's Wikipedia's:

Stop words is the name given to words which are filtered out prior to, or after, processing of natural language data (text).

I can run a Google search for thank you and get relevant results and when I run a keyword tool analysis I see that the term "thank you" has about 4,090,000 monthly searches - that wouldn't work if Google were filtering these words.

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They might not be stop words but they are treated differently, google doesn't list them in the keywords section in webmaster tools –  Craig Angus Oct 28 '10 at 23:49
    
@Craig_Angus That would make sense if your site does not rank for the terms - do you see any Google search traffic referrals for the terms? Have you tried switching the query filter from "Queries with more than 10 impressions and clicks" to "All queries" ..? –  danlefree Oct 29 '10 at 9:10
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