Stop words in title or not - for the main keyword?


Sep 17, 2019
The client wants to rank for "Veterinarian + City".
But it sounds weird to not spell the title like "Veterinarian in + City"

Will they rank for the main keyword if I include "in" in the title?
(Does Google understand that they are the same or whats the proper way to do it)

Cherie Dickey

Local Search Expert
Jan 30, 2018

Do you mean in the Title Tag of the website? In any case, it depends on how competitive of an area it is. Google is supposedly normalizing these types of search term combinations because the intent of the searcher is the same. But I've found that sometimes in high competition areas, it does seem to make somewhat of a difference.

For the Title Tag, I would stick with the exact match KW. What I would do on the page would depend on how competitive the area is for that term.

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
It's one of the lower value things to worry about from what I've seen. Work keywords into the title and work on improving CTR. The title tag is only one piece of what you need to get a page to rank, so don't get too honed in on that one element.

I rewrote dozens of title tags (most are using stop words) with the mentality of driving better CTR, but then I also updated content, added alt text to images, and a whole bunch of other things to make sure the real "foundation" of the page was in a good place.

This month compared to last is showing a 20% jump in clicks (terms that get 200-300 searches/mo so not super competitive but enough to be happy about).

Look at the entire page instead of one piece in isolation.

I think Google's gotten to the point where context is coming a little easier for their search engine to understand. Do what looks more natural to the user that's searching, and make sure it's different from what the competitors are doing.

Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest

Trending: Most Viewed

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...

  Local University Guide

Google Product Exert