Yoast SEO assessment: Slug stopwords

What are stop words?

Stop words are the most commonly used words in a language. Their function in a sentence is more important than their meaning. Think of words like ‘a’, ‘more’, ‘the’, ‘under’, and ‘why’, for example. You can find more examples in this list of stop words, which contains most stop words we use in our checks.

What does the slug stop words check do?

The slug stop words check assesses whether your slug contains stop words. Since there is no universal list of stop words, Yoast compiled one of its own. If you want to know which words our plugin considers stop words, you can consult our complete list of stop words on GitHub.

Why is considering if you want a slug with stop words important for SEO?

Search engines have become better at dealing with stop words, and to them, it usually doesn’t matter whether or not there are stop words between the words you want to be found for. However, keeping your URLs as short and uncluttered as possible makes them easier to read for potential visitors. And, the easier it is for potential visitors to grasp what kind of a post or page they’ll end up on, the more likely they are to click that link.

Do you want to improve your use of stop words in your slug?

Most importantly: keep your slug focused and easy to read, so potential visitors know what to expect when they click. In many cases, stop words don’t add value to a slug, and it makes sense to strip it of stop words like ‘a’, ‘of’, ‘the’ etc.

But, in some cases, one or more stop words are needed in your slug, to give more insight into what the post or page is about. It’s also possible that a stop word is an essential part of your focus keyphrase, for instance, if you’re writing about the rock band ‘The Who’. Or, consider, for example, the difference in meaning between a ‘notebook’ and the movie ‘The Notebook’. If this is the case, you shouldn’t leave these stop words out of your URL.

So, in short: carefully consider whether the stop words in your slug are absolutely necessary and adjust it accordingly.

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