Auto Remove Low-Value Keywords From URL Permalink Slug in WP

I’ve been on a roll lately with publishing little WordPress tweaks apparently.

Here’s a new one that removes junk keywords from your URL (add to functions.php):

 * Automatically remove stop words and low-value keywords when an automatic permalink is first suggested by WordPress
function remove_common_keywords_from_permalink($post_id) {
        if (wp_is_post_revision($post_id) || (defined('DOING_AUTOSAVE') && DOING_AUTOSAVE)) {
        $common_keywords = array(
                "a", "about", "above", "after", "again", "against", "aint", "all", "am", "an", "and", "any", "are", "arent", "as", "at", "be", "because", "been", "before", "being", "below", "between", "both", "but", "by", "can", "cannot", "cant", "could", "couldnt", "did", "didnt", "do", "does", "doesnt", "doing", "dont", "down", "during", "each", "few", "for", "from", "further", "had", "hadnt", "has", "hasnt", "have", "havent", "having", "he", "hed", "hell", "her", "here", "heres", "hers", "herself", "hes", "him", "himself", "his", "how", "hows", "i", "id", "if", "ill", "im", "in", "into", "is", "isnt", "it", "its", "itself", "ive", "lets", "me", "mightnt", "more", "most", "mustnt", "my", "myself", "no", "nor", "not", "of", "off", "on", "once", "only", "or", "other", "ought", "our", "ours", "ourselves", "out", "over", "own", "same", "shant", "she", "shed", "shell", "shes", "should", "shouldnt", "so", "some", "such", "than", "that", "thats", "the", "their", "theirs", "them", "themselves", "then", "there", "theres", "these", "they", "theyd", "theyll", "theyre", "theyve", "this", "those", "through", "to", "too", "under", "until", "up", "very", "was", "wasnt", "we", "wed", "well", "were", "werent", "weve", "what", "whats", "when", "whens", "where", "wheres", "which", "while", "who", "whom", "whos", "why", "whys", "with", "wont", "would", "wouldnt", "you", "youd", "youll", "your", "youre", "yours", "yourself", "yourselves", "youve"
        $post_title = get_post_field('post_title', $post_id);
        $title_words = explode(' ', $post_title);
        $filtered_title = array_filter($title_words, function($word) use($common_keywords) {
                return !in_array(strtolower($word), $common_keywords);
        $clean_title = implode(' ', $filtered_title);
        $new_slug = sanitize_title($clean_title);
        remove_action('save_post', 'remove_common_keywords_from_permalink');
        wp_update_post(array('ID' => $post_id, 'post_name' => $new_slug));
        add_action('save_post', 'remove_common_keywords_from_permalink');
add_action('save_post', 'remove_common_keywords_from_permalink');

These are known as “stop words”. Stop words are words that are filtered out because they are believed to be of little value in search queries due to their high frequency.

For this reason, they shouldn’t really be in our permalinks; they just make them needlessly long, and permalinks should be short and descriptive.

There used to be a plugin that did this called “Smart Slug”, but it was removed earlier this year.

P.S. This only works when a brand new post is being written. It will not change existing permalinks; WordPress creates a permalink for you automatically, and it usually contains an exact version of your title but with dashes.

With this plugin, if your title is:

  • How to Write an Optimized Title

Before this fix, WordPress would set your permalink to:

  • /how-to-write-an-optimized-title

With this fix, WordPress would set it to:

  • /write-optimized-title

Please let me know in the comments if this helped you!

What People Are Saying:

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2024, All rights reserved. Yadda yadda.