You may have been hoping to find a magic formula for guaranteed success when you were first introduced to the search engine optimization techniques, but you probably understand that same results cannot be achieved by mixing the same ingredients each time. If you want to be a successful marketer, you cannot stay with the same system throughout your entire Internet career – you have to do tests and experiments constantly in order to understand what is effective and what should be left behind. These article examines 10 important SEO experiments and informs about their effectiveness.
1. Finding links to other owner’s pages
The test: The users of Google Webmaster Tools only have access to information about their own website. This test has the aim to show that it is possible to gain access to links for websites that are not owned by the user. There is a trick that helps: you simply copy the content of the page you want to analyze and place it on the website that you own. This results with an access to the links of both pages.
Conclusion: This is an effective strategy that is easy to be performed. It only takes a couple of days for the links to be populated in the user’s interface.
2. Likes on social media
The test: Does a +1, a reshare or a Facebook like impact the Google rankings? In order to come to a conclusion, a few pages were developed and these buttons were being used by a significant number of accounts on social media.
Conclusion: As it turns out, search engine optimization is impacted by social media, but that impact is not miraculous.
3. Are rankings affected by letter cases?
The test: It is known that a capitalized phrase may affect the number of returned hits, but what effects does the same strategy have on the search results? For this test, two pages were created – one with all lowercase words and the other one with capitalized words.
Conclusion: Google queries detected both of these pages and there were no apparent differences that resulted from the capitalized and lowercase letters.
4. The canonical and hreflang tags
The test: The hreflang tag’s has been designed for sites that feature various domain names for different countries and usually display duplicate content. Does the use of this tag really lead to improved rankings?
Conclusion: The canonical and hreflang tags can really be effective. Implementing both of these tags increases the changes for higher rankings.
5. The recovering process after getting de-ranked
The test: Sometimes a small mistake or a search engine update can re-rank a site. Is it possible to recover after such an occurrence? For this test, a website lost its ranks for a specific keyword because it deliberately used spamming links. The site submitted an appeal after removing those links.
Conclusion: It took several weeks after the appeal for the website to start recovering its rankings. The process is fairly slow, but it isn’t impossible.
6. Nofollow links: are they practically useless?
The test: Every reasonable SEO expert will tell you that normal links are ok; those with the nofollow tag are not. The reason for that statement is that Google ignores these nofollow links. With this test, the aim was to verify whether this was true or not.
Conclusion: The results of this test were surprising –nofollow links can actually influence a website’s ranking in a positive manner.
7. Different anchor text for influencing the ranking
The test: Many websites were affected by Google’s Penguin update; and those websites that used plenty of links with same keyword with the anchor text were affected as well. Is there a possibility to improve the rankings with a slightly altered text?
Conclusion: Yes, the indirect anchor links have the ability to improve the site’s ranking. If the words in the backlinks are similar to the main keyword, they will have a positive effect on its rankings.
8. The effectiveness of Google Disavow
The test: If too many spamming links are directed to a certain website, it will be penalized or delisted. However, there is a way to come out of the situation if the owner is not actually controlling those backlinks – it is known as the Disavow tool.
Conclusion: This tool is very effective. The test resulted with over 90% of the spammy links being removed successfully and the site was re-instated following the appeal.
9. Analysis of Google Image Search
The test: Not many Internet users spend much of their time researching the Google Image Search results when using the search engine. This test shared a completely new folder on a website with numerically-ordered images. After the images were found by the crawler, the test used Google Image Search in order to examine the order in which they were displayed.
Conclusion: It was interested that at the end of this experiment the images were randomly ordered with every search. It is probable that the search engine deliberately randomizes these results.
10. The usage of canonical tricks
The test: What will happen if the canonical tag is being used in an incorrect place in the page or for pages that don’t exist?
Conclusion: The canonical tag needs to be used properly in order to have a noticeable influence – it has to be pointing to a real page and it is supposed to be in the head tag.