A Google search for “search engine optimization” will return upwards of 64 million results – the majority of which are tips, tutorials, and beginner guides. Every SEO has their own opinion on what factors and elements affect SEO and to what degree, but not everyone can back these opinions with relevant data. That’s why the Parallel Path SEO team will be embarking upon a series of tests in the coming months to try and answer some pertinent questions and provide the data to back up our findings.
For years we have provided reliable recommendations and driven successful organic search campaigns for our clients, but with the continued evolution of the search engines, we need to ensure that our methodology continues to evolve as well. In an effort to provide the best possible organic search services for our current and future clients, we want to answer the hard questions with undeniable data – questions like: How effective is our process? Where are the gaps in our knowledge? How do we fill these gaps? What else can we be doing to improve our process and ensure the long-term success of our clients?
We believe that if we can answer these questions and then evolve our offering, we’ve put ourselves in a position to help our clients ensure growth through organic search.
The Testing Domain
We will be using an already developed (yet very outdated) domain. We ultimately decided to use this domain for two reasons:
By using an established domain, we can get a head start on the off-page side of the algorithm.
We had a hunch that the domain had been affected by at least one algorithm update, which would afford another opportunity for our team to further our knowledge and understanding of recovering from from an algorithmic update. In the image below, you can see a sharp decline in daily traffic around the beginning of October 2012. During this period we saw a large amount of fairly notable Google algorithm updates – Exact-Match Domain (relevant for this domain), Penguin update #3, and Page Layout update #2. While it’s difficult to know exactly which update(s) caused the decline, our team has identified a number of issues on the website and we have made efforts over the past few weeks to begin cleaning them up.
Parallel Path SEO officially kicked the project off on May 30th with updates to the tracking scripts, removal of long outdated optimizations, and finally minor page element updates to one page in order to test the running theory that the website was affected by a penalty, or update. With more updates such as using iframes for siloing, or testing which image types can be crawled for content, we’re sure to test something that will pique your interest!
Please leave us a comment and let us know of any tests that you would like to see implemented!