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I have read some articles online that the correct SEO-practices suggest that you shouldn't use stop words in URLS. Does this also apply for URLs for pages that target long-tailed keywords that contain a stop word? I can't find a good source that talks about these specific URLs.

The list of stop words that are suggested to remove form URLs by multiple articles:

A, is, what, who, how, was, this, that, but, at, be, for, he, she, iam, I, in, its, your, with, all, any, did, do, had, has, here, his, and, etc...

So suppose I want to write a webpage that targets the long-tailed keyword:

Why do I like puppies more than cats

What would be the optimal URL in this case?

www.example.com/why-do-i-like-puppies-more-than-cats

or

www.example.com/like-puppies-more-than-cats

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Simple answer. Use the more complete and conversational URL. Simple reason. It is user friendly and complete. The advice to avoid stop words appears in many forms. Let me be clear. It is all BULL. Stop words are and always were a necessary part of the web. Use them. However, at one point search engines did not index stop words because it added no value to the index. However, with semantic search, contextual search, and conversational queries, these words became important. This began with Ask Jeeves and Google and Bing have modified their operations to cover the nuances of linguistics to provide better results many years ago. Certainly, there never was any harm in using stop words at any point in search history and any advice to avoid them ridiculous. Why this advice continues to be shared is beyond me.

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I'm not going to disagree (because I do agree with you), however, there are or have been some reasons to consider removing stop words or other unnecessary words from the URL. Note that I refer to the URL only, no where else should this be considered. The URL doesn't have any keyword ranking relevance like other on-page elements, and shorter URLs are (normally) better than verbose ones. So if your URL construct tends to be lengthy and a candidate for being truncated in search results, you can still get some highlighting and recognition benefit from removing cruft. Only if necessary. –  Mike Hudson Mar 13 at 5:44
1  
Mike- I like your point. For long URLs, then yes you do have to think about trimming somewhere. I guess I do not think in terms of long URLs anymore. I cannot see why someone would want a longer URL or too much depth. I have seen spam sites with long URLs and blogs that try and use long titles in the URL. I guess this is where your point comes into play (blogger that is). Thanks for the reminder. –  closetnoc Mar 13 at 16:31

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