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New Facts about SEO that You Did Not Know

17.05.2017, 17:17

New facts about SEO ... You know, there are lots of wrong opinions about SEO. And this is not surprising, because there are hundreds of factors affecting the position in the search engine results page (SERP), but most of them are kept secret. Google does not share its search algorithms, so it's hard to tell which factors really work. How to distinguish real facts about SEO from myths and conjectures? In this article we will present you 10 new facts, confirmed by evident results.

All the facts presented in this article are found by carrying out a variety of experiments. We will only briefly talk about them and give advice on how to use them to improve the results.

№1. CTR Affects Organic Production.

Although Google carefully keeps all its algorithms secret, some information leaks. According to information from people close to the company, the position in the SERP is influenced by the click-through rate (CTR). If the number of referrals for a certain search query increases, its position rises. Rand Fishkin, who is a co-founder of Moz, conducted some studies that confirm this correlation.

Three Ways to Use this Fact. 

Optimize your CTR. Create a compelling title and a meta description for every page so that they could attract stronger than those links that are on higher positions.
Create a quality brand. The recognizable brand gets more clicks. If your brand is known and credible, you will surely improve your results.
Optimize the long click count. Simple optimizing for clicks is not enough. To get a real benefit from the frequency of clicking on a link, you also need to increase the time that users spend on your site.

№2. Websites Should be Adapted for Mobile Devices.

To optimize search results on mobile phones, use Mobilegeddon for your website. Mobilegeddon is the update of the search algorithm for Google's mobile devices. It is supposed to enhance positions of those websites, which are specially adapted for mobile devices.

According to many reports, the implementation of this update has not brought any significant results, which were expected by SEO experts. On the other hand, the study conducted by the Stone Temple agency showed that after launching Mobilegeddon almost 50% of all sites not adapted for mobile devices fell in search results. On the contrary, the adapted sites have strengthened their positions.

Anyway, the adaptation of the website for mobile phones is not the latest factor affecting its success, so we recommend that you take it into account as soon as possible and make your site mobile-friendly. Find out here, if your site is adapted for mobile devices.

№3. Echoes of links: the residual effect of placing backlinks

Google continues to see backlinks to your site even after they have been deleted. This idea was expressed, for the first time, in the comments to the article on the Moz website. In addition, experiments have proved that a site, which has lost backlinks, can conserve its positions within several months. Rand Fishkin claims that this effect is confirmed in all the tests that the Moaz team have conducted.

Quality backlinks are always worth their weight in gold. By placing quality links to other sites, you make serious investments in the future of your project. Even after deleting good backlinks, your rating will remain on top for a while. Think then whether it is worth buying or placing inorganic links, if they have a long-term effect as well?

№4. Pages with duplicate content can occupy high positions

If there are two identical text in the Internet, Google will display pages with the higher PageRank in the search results. If users visit pages with duplicate content, they will be automatically redirected to the page with original content. The problem is only that if reputable site wants to steal your content, they can dislodge you from the search. This was experimentally tested by an Australian SEO expert Dan Petrovic.

What to do to avoid content "hijacking"? First of all, add the tag rel = "canonical" to the code of the article, using the full link. Always add internal links in the body of the article. Also, regularly check pages for uniqueness, for example, via Copyscape.

№5. The Rich Answers Response System Provides Good Results

Rich Answers is an informational block that is given by Google as quick answers to search queries in the form of questions. The Stone Temple, which was mentioned above, conducted two studies in December 2014, and then in July 2015. They analyzed the SERPs for several million requests. The results showed that the percentage of the Rich Answers block requests increased from 22.6% to 31.2%. This suggests that Rich Answers does work and can even displace usual search results. With a competent approach, it will help increase traffic to your website.

To benefit from Rich Answers, stick to the following tips:

1. Think of a simple question.
2. Ensure that the answer to the question is clear, understandable and useful, both for the user and for the search engine.
3. Add detailed information, which can be more interesting than an article from Wikipedia.
4. Make it easy to find this question. Share it with your subscribers on social networks and post it on your own site or other ones.

№6. External Links to Other Sites Raise Your Position in the SERP

For a long time, there has been an opinion in the SEO world that placing external links reduces the credibility of your website. And this is despite assurances from Google that placing links to other resources is very useful. According to the theory of SEO, the more you place links to other sites on your site, the more strongly the rating of your pages decreases. This ultimately leads to a decrease in the credibility of your site and, accordingly, to lower positions in the SERP.

The Reboot team decided to check it out. They created 10 sites, each of which included an article of the same volume, including the non-existent word "Phylandocic". Google, of course, did not give a single result for this query. Further, researchers chose five out of 10 articles to place links to three authoritative sites: Oxford University, Cambridge University and the National Research Institute of the Human Genome in Maryland. The results showed that after indexing, the sites with the search query "Phylandocic", that had outbound links, were higher in search results than those, which had no these links.

The conclusion is simple: be sure to place enough references to reliable resources in each of your articles, if they are really relevant and related to the discussed topic.

№7. Links from Other Sites with Many Other Links

SEO experts often say that links from sites that host many other outbound links have no value. And the more these links are on the site, the less valuable are these external links, including links to your website. In theory, it is said that such links should not significantly affect the rating of the sites they lead to.

At the same time, links from websites containing not so many external links are more valuable. Dan Petrovic tried to check this in his study. He installed the websites on two different domains. On one of them he referred to another website (, which hosted several thousand other external links. In theory, this should not have affected the rating of the webpage in the search result. In reality, this website instantly ranked second in the SERP immediately after placing an external link on it. What is the most interesting, the website almost retained its position even three months after. It lost only to a resource with a higher authority.

№8. Links in Images

All the same Dan Petrovic decided to conduct an experiment to find out which of the ways to place links to the site is the best.

For this, he registered four virtually identical domain names. He placed a link to individual pages of an authoritative site on each of these domains. Each link included a specific key phrase, but it was written in four different versions:

  1. [A key phrase]
  2. Plain text followed by [a key phrase]: a bare link
  3. Link in the picture with [a key phrase] in the alt-tag.
  4. The plain text followed by [a key phrase], followed by a link with the text "click here".

It is noteworthy that the link in the picture with the key phrase placed in the alt-tag was at the very top of the search result, and the link with a clear anchor text was at the very bottom of it.

Why do you need this? Just remember that pictures can become a valuable resource for creating backlinks.

№9. Links from Press Releases

At the end of 2014, the head of Google for combating web spam, Matt Cutts, publicly stated that links from press releases are of no value to SEO. The SEO Consult portal decided to check this by posting a press release on its website with a link to Matt’s blog.

The non-existent word "Sreppleasers", which is the usual anagram of the word "press release", was taken as an anchor text. Of course, there were no this word in Matt's blog . But that's interesting - the search query "Sreppleasers" allowed Matt's blog to appear on the second position. Impressive, right? So links from press releases actually work.

№10. First Link

It all started with the fact that Rand Fishkin claimed in his blog that Google only takes into account the first link posted on another site and going into your site. Not everyone agreed with him. The guys from SEO Scientist decided to conduct their own experiment. To do this, they created two sites: A and B. Two links with various anchor text led from site A to site B. When searching for an anchor text, site B appeared in the search result only when searching for text from the first link. When links in the text were interchanged, site B was displayed in the SERP when searching for the text of the link that was the second before, and now it was the first.

You draw a conclusion that if you create links to your pages by yourself, make sure that the first link leads to your main landing page.

As you can see, many of the presented facts surprise and even contradict the standard ideas about SEO. We did not mean to say that everything you know about SEO is not true. We are just talking about the fact that there is so much more to be learned in SEO that you could use for your own purposes!

Tell us what you think about the facts presented here. We are also happy to hear from you about new facts and techniques in SEO. Share them with us in the comments.

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