I've got an MVC app that generates url "slugs" on the fly. I'm wondering (with regards to SEO) if it's good practice to stip common words from the slug.


Page Title: This is a cool title with lots of content

Page Slug: /this-is-a-cool-title-with-lots-of-content
Option B: /this-cool-title-with-lots-content


If a user does a search for an exact string (using quotes) then stripping those words will have a negative effect on your rankings. Wordpress leaves them in and it seems to work for the countless number of blogs that use it so I'd say leave them in.


It probably won't hurt anything, but don't expect it to be particularly beneficial, either.

To John Conde's answer: The question is about the slug that ends up in the URL. I can't imagine any search engine is going to consider that above the actual in-page content, which is not being modified here. (My rep's currently too low to comment directly.)

  • They consider multiple factors when ranking a page, not just one. So having a stronger URL means better rankings, even if the weight of it isn't as much as the content itself. It only has to make a difference and it certainly does.
    – John Conde
    Feb 4 '11 at 15:47
  • Can you back that up? Honest question; you're being rather assertive about this, like it's actually been tested and documented, and I'd be curious to see it. While I can conceive of the exact string search failing for content, I just don't see an engine caring that "the"(or some other article) was missing in a URL and wouldn't be surprised to find out it's just discarded.
    – Su'
    Feb 4 '11 at 16:04

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