SEO Tests Master List

We test SEO myths, theories, alleged truths and supposed facts to uncover what's working right now in Google. We are an open community of SEO practitioners and welcome new members and introverts. If you would like access to the tests below, join our premium community here. If you would like to become a tester, contact Lee, our lead tester.


Our goal is for you to succeed using these methods and to close more business with the inside information that few SEOs possess. The IMG SEO tests go beyond the cliché "Don’t Guess… Rank!”

Testing Date

IMG Member

Test Title

Hypothesis

Category

Sub Category

Results

23-Jul-20

The order of words in content submitted to the NLP API will not impact the categorization in a meaningful way.

On-page

Content

23-Jul-20

Ahrefs claims DR predicts organic traffic.

Off-page

Tools

23-Jul-20

Google doesn't follow through on rel=canonical like they said they would.

Technical

On-page

23-Jul-20

Paragraph text not wrapped in p tags has less value.

On-page

HTML, Technical

07-Jul-20

If Google is favoring their books for some reason, a book ought to out rank a simple page for a single artificial keyword.

Off-page

Books, Publishing

07-Jul-20

Google prefers some content types over others. For example, random alpha and lorem ipsum over Wingdings (?︎Ɉυ♎︎ ɿυ□︎ ɉ♓︎).

On-page

Content

07-Jul-20

Keyword in the domain name has more power than keyword in a directory and/or page name.

On-Page

Site Structure

07-Jul-20

Google does not read HTML comments. 

Technical

Google Bot, Crawling, Indexing

07-Jul-20

Google Search Console only crawls 1 layer of links for the submitted domain and does not crawl unverified domains in real-time.

Technical

Google Bot, Crawling, Indexing

09-Apr-20

A cookie doesn't seem a great use of Googlebot's time, we would expect a ranking preference for no-redirect.

Technical

Google Bot, Crawling, Indexing

09-Apr-20

SameAs schema is a ranking Factor.

On-Page

Schema

09-Apr-20

More relevant backlinks will not boost rank any more than less relevant ones.

Off-Page

Backlink Relevance

09-Apr-20

Google treats links with rel attributes differently than links without.

Off-Page

REL Attributes 

12-Mar-20

Google would not block the website from appearing in the mobile index.

Technical

Google Bot, Crawling, Indexing

12-Mar-20

All LSI are good LSI.

On-Page

LSI Keywords, Entities

12-Mar-20

Google renders JavaScript and follows the redirect.

Technical

JavaScript

12-Mar-20

With the non-results of Test 1, perhaps the 5% keyword density was not enough to “teach” Google that these two words could go together.

Technical

Domain Ranking Factors

12-Mar-20

Keyword density is not a ranking factor.

YouTube SEO

Keyword Density

13-Feb-20

Does Google follow more than 4 Redirect Hops?

Technical

Redirects

13-Feb-20

An image optimized according to the Search Console Help recommendations will rank better in Google Image Results

On-Page

Image Optimization

14-Feb-20

Is this an algorithmic or manual penality?

Off-Page

Manual Penality

14-May-20

Adding entities as schema markup to a page will boost rankings

On-Page

Schema

14-May-20

Adding entities to the page will beat keyword variation

On-Page

Entities

14-May-20

When given a choice between a domain of the same 'words', google will show preference to the NON-hyphenated version.

Technical

Domain Ranking Factors

14-May-20

If I change the page schema over time I can rank for schema that isn't presented to end users.

On-Page

Schema

17-Jan-20

Does having a link to Wikipedia help with ranking?

On-Page

External Linking

18-Dec-19

Pages that are similar maybe filtered

On-Page

Duplicate Content

18-Dec-19

GSC recently started reporting on broken images. We are wondering about broken css includes.

Technical

Site Errors, SEO Audits

18-Dec-19

Are broken images a negative ranking factor?

Technical

Site Errors, SEO Audits

18-Dec-19

Are broken script includes a negative ranking factor?

Technical

Site Errors, SEO Audits

18-Dec-19

Are broken script includes a negative ranking factor?

Technical

Site Errors, SEO Audits

18-Dec-19

Stop words are ignored by Google.

YouTube SEO

Stop Words, Meta Data

18-Dec-19

The closer the page is to the .com the better it will rank.

Technical

Subfolders, Site Structure

18-Dec-19

More LSI words will cause rankings to increase.

On-Page

LSI Keywords, Entities

18-Dec-19

Unique keywords are not filtered 

On-Page

Keywords, Duplicate Content

18-Dec-19

Testing the diversity of different kinds of errors as a negative ranking factor.

Technical

Site Errors, SEO Audits

18-Dec-19

Does having more ranking factors on a page increase rankings

On-Page

ALL THE FACTORS!

18-Dec-19

At least 50% of a page needs to be unique 

On-Page

Duplicate Content

18-Dec-19

At least 60% of a page needs to be unique 

On-Page

Duplicate Content

18-Dec-19

Testing names with in Heading Tags (Known Entities?)

On-Page

Heading Tags

18-Dec-19

Are headings with no keyword matches a factor? Lets test that.

On-Page

Heading Tags

19-Dec-19

If Keyword Density is the factor then the match count tests will slot in around 10% because they were kept at around that density

On-Page

Keyword Density

20-Dec-19

We are trying to see if Keyword Density is a ranking factor. 

On-Page

Keyword Density

22-Jan-20

English and lorem ipsum rank equally well.

On-Page

Language Factors

22-Jan-20

With HTML language declared as English, lorem ipsum and English test pages will rank equally well.

On-Page

Language Factors

22-Jan-20

Search Volume for a test keyword may impact index allocation for a keyword in the primary index

Technical

Google Bot, Crawling, Indexing

23-Apr-20

Hiding content from Google is on the Webmaster Guidelines no no list. In particular, Google states that you cannot hide content on a page using CSS: 

On-Page

Cloaking

23-Apr-20

Comparing Google Analytics to web server log files

Technical

GA SUCKS@!

23-Apr-20

Internal links from original content count more than internal links from duplicate content

On-Page

Internal Linking

23-Apr-20

The page with the highest number of stacked relevant backlinks will outrank the others.

On-Page

SEO Silos

23-Apr-20

The Pandabot traffic network will not improve rankings in Google.

Technical

Traffic Manipulation

23-Apr-20

Google will index a recreated SERP

On-Page

On-Page Ranking Factors

23-Jan-20

Entities are a ranking factor

On-Page

Keywords, Entities

26-Mar-20

The top on page factors won’t change much

On-Page

On-Page Ranking Factors

26-Mar-20

LSI will increase your rankings.

On-Page

LSI Keywords, Entities

26-Mar-20

The no snippet tag will stop Google from ignoring your meta description

On-Page

Meta Description

26-Mar-20

Adding a second instance of an exact match keyword into a second H2 will increase the ranking of a page.

On-Page

On-Page Ranking Factors

26-Mar-20

Google will follow all the links on a given page and in the order of top to bottom.

On-Page

Internal Linking

26-Mar-20

Google has canonicalized my hyphenated domain to the the non-hyphenated domain

Technical

Domain Ranking Factors

26-Mar-20

Keyword In Tags is not a ranking factor.

YouTube SEO

Tags, Keywords

27-Feb-20

LSI will increase your rankings.

On-Page

LSI Keywords, Entities

27-Feb-20

Hyphens are ignored by Google.

Technical

Domain Ranking Factors

27-Feb-20

A site with hreflang tags on identical pages will pass Google's duplicate content filter

Technical

Duplicate Content, href tag

27-Feb-20

Keyword In Title is not a ranking factor.

YouTube SEO

Keyword in Title

27-Feb-20

Google will not crawl past 15 Hops…

Technical

Google Bot, Crawling, Indexing

29-Jan-20

I try to find out if comment links from an authoritative source influence the rankings.

Off-Page

DoFollow Comment Links

28-May-20

Sentence length is not a ranking factor.

On-Page

sentence length

28-May-20

Embed views will not be counted by YouTube

YouTube SEO

video embeds

28-May-20

Google will index a page for a keyword that is commented-out in the source code

On-Page

cloaking

28-May-20

Results would be similar when comparing mobile with desktop SERP results.

Technical

Google Bot, Crawling, Indexing

11-June-20

There is no different algo for displayed results on desktop vs mobile devices.

Mobile SEO

on page factors

11-June-20

I do not expect to see any difference between results because I assume two different algorithms would be too expensive to make sense. 

Mobile SEO

on page factors

11-June-20

Is the Google Algorithm different on Mobile compared to desktop?

Mobile SEO

on page factors

11-June-20

Google will reward websites that utilize lossless compression

Mobile SEO

on page factors

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