SEO facts… You’ll probably agree that there are lots of mistaken opinions about SEO. And it’s hardly surprising, since there exist hundreds of factors that influence ranking and the majority of them is wrapped in mystery. Google doesn’t share its search algorithms, so it’s quite hard to tell, which of the factors really work. But how may we distinguish real facts about SEO from myths? In this article we will give you nine new facts that are confirmed by real results.
SEO facts you probably didn’t know
All the facts in this article are found by passing different tests. We will just give you the basic information and suggest how to use it to achieve better results.
SEO facts – Click-through ratio (CTR) impacts organic ranking
Even though Google diligently keeps all the search algorithms in its hat, some information still seeps out. According to people close to company, CTR really influences ranking. Thus, if when searching for a certain keyword, number of clicks, let’s say, on the 7th link increases, its ranking will soon increase too. These results have been confirmed by the test performed by ex-CEO of MOZ, Rand Fishkin.
How you may use it:
- Optimize your CTR. Create convincing title page and meta description for every page, so that they may attract better then the links that have higher ranking.
- Create quality brand. Recognizable brand will eventually have more clicks. If your brand is trustworthy, you are going to increase your ranking.
- Optimize long clicks. Mere CTR optimization is not enough. To get real benefit from this parameter, you need to increase time users spend on your website.
SEO facts – Mobile-friendly websites
Mobilegeddon – this is how a Google search algorithm update for mobile devices has been named by web-developers. This update should have optimized mobile search results by increasing ranking of mobile-friendly websites.
According to many reports, there were no essential results expected by SEO experts after update. According to the test results obtained by Stone Stemple, a digital marketing agency, almost 50% of the websites, which were not adapted to mobile devices, have lost in ranking. On the contrary, mobile-friendly websites increased their ranking.
Whatever the case, mobile-friendliness is not the factor that has a less impact on website success than the other factor. So we suggest you to consider making your website mobile-friendly ASAP. If you would like to check how friendly to mobile devices your website is, you may do it by using a dedicated Google tool.
SEO facts – Link echoes: residual effect of placing backlinks
An idea, firstly stated in comments to a Moz article, lies in the fact that Google will still track backlinks to your website even if they are removed. Besides, passed tests proved that a website may keep its ranking even several months afterwards. Rand Fishkin claims that this effect was confirmed in all the tests they performed.
Good backlinks will always be extremely valuable. By generating quality links on other websites you make a serious investment in the future of your project, since your ranking will remain high for a long time, if these links are deleted. Also think if there is any sense to risk by purchasing and placing non-organic links, considering that this effect remains.
SEO facts – Pages with duplicate content may rank higher
If there are two identical texts, Google will show the page with higher PageRank in the search results. When visiting the page with duplicate content, user will be automatically redirected to a page with original content. The problem arises when a website with high authority wants to steal your content. In this case it may push you out from the search results, even if your article is the original one. This was checked by Den Petrovic, a SEO expert from Australia.
So, what can you do to prevent your content from being “stolen”? Firstly you need to add rel=”canonical” tag to the code of your article using full link. Also add inbound links. This is very essential. You may as well check plagiarism of your pages by using Copyscape.
SEO facts – Rich Answers give very good results
Rich Answers is a Google info block that shows quick answers to question search queries. Stone Temple has conducted a search results analysis using millions of queries in December, 2014 and then in July, 2015. Results shown that a share of queries with Rich Answers block presence has increased by 8.6% within this period (from 22.6 to 31.2%). This indicates that Rich Answers really work and may even outrank the common popular search results. If you use it in a clever way, you may add a certain amount of traffic to your website.
Pay attention to the next advice in order to gain benefit from Rich Answers.
- Think of a simple question.
- Make sure the answer is precise, easy and useful both for user and search engine.
- Add more information that may be more interesting that just the text from Wikipedia.
- Make this question easier to find. Share it with your subscribers in social networks and link to it from your own or other websites.
SEO facts – External links to other websites increase your ranking
For quite a long time, there is an opinion that says that locating external links decreases your website’s authority. And this is despite Google claiming that putting links to other resources is very useful. The idea of this opinion is the more links to other website you place on your website, the more the rank of your pages decreases. This will lead to decrease of your website’s authority and lower rankings.
Reboot’s team decided to check it. They created 10 websites, placed similar articles with the same volume on each of them, and included the word «Phylandocic» that doesn’t really exist. Google didn’t give any results for this query. Then the links to three websites with high domain authority were added to five of ten articles. Results showed that after indexing, when searching for «Phylandocic», websites that had outbound links appeared higher in the search results than the ones without these links.
To achieve best results, we suggest you to place a fair amount of links to relevant and reliable websites.
SEO facts – Links from other websites that have a lot of other links
SEO-specialists often claim that links from the websites, where many other outbound links are located, don’t have any value. The more links these websites have, the less value do these links have, including the links to your website. They shouldn’t influence your website’s rating greatly, according to theory. At the same time, links from website with less total links are more valuable. This has been tested by Den Petrovic. He installed websites on two different domains, and gave a link to one of them from another website with thousands of other links. If the theory is true, it shouldn’t have had any influence on page ranking. What happened then? This website ranked #2 immediately after placing this outbound link. It is even more interesting that after three months this website remained its position giving way only to a resource with higher authority.
SEO facts – Image links
Same old Den Petrovic decided to run a test to find out, which type of linking to website is the best.
He registered four almost identical domains. After that the links to each of those websites have been placed on separate pages of one trustworthy website. Each link included exact phrase, but it was formulated in four different ways:
- [key phrase]
- Ordinary text that surrounds the [key phrase]: raw link
- Image link with the [key phrase] as ALT tag.
- Ordinary text that surrounds the [key phrase], followed by a link with anchor text «click here».
It is striking that image link with a key phrase in alt tag ranked #1, while the link with the exact key phrase was in the lowest position, as compared to other link types.
How can you use this? Simply remember that image links may be very useful for creating backlins.
SEO facts – Links from press releases
In late 2014 Google’s head of web spam Matt Cuts publicly declared that links from press releases don’t have any SEO value at all. SEO Consult decided to check this by placing a press release with a link to Matt’s blog on their website. “Sreppleasers”, which is just an anagram to a word “press release”, was used as an anchor text. Surely, there was no such word in Matt’s blog. But what’s curious is that Matt’s blog showed up at No.2 when searching for “Sreppleasers”. Cool, right? It proves that press release links in fact work.
SEO facts – First link misconception
It all started when Rand Fishkin added post in his blog claiming that Google considers only the first link located on another website, which is directed to your website. Not everyone agreed with him, actually. Guys from SEO Scientist decided to conduct their own test. For this purpose, they created two websites: A and B. Two links with different anchor texts to website B were located on site A. When searching for anchor text, website B only appeared in search results when the anchor text from the first link was searched. When the links were interchanged in the text, website B only appeared in a search result for the anchor text from the second link, which has now been made the first one.
So, if you create the links to your own pages by yourself, make sure that the first link is to the most important page.
As you can see, many facts really surprise and somehow contradict standard SEO understanding. We didn’t want to tell you that everything you know about SEO is a fib. We simply state that there is so much more to discover in SEO to use it for your own good.
Tell us what you think about these facts. We will gladly hear about other SEO tips and tricks from you. Share them with us in the comments.