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Testing And Experimenting Is (Or At Least Should Be) The Backbone Of Any SEO Strategy.

Most professional SEO companies and experts routinely conduct formal and informal SEO experiments, some of which are generously posted online for education and calibration purposes. At SEO.com, we encourage our employees to build and monetize personal websites when they’re not at work, as an opportunity to innovate, test, and take risks that we can’t with our client campaigns at work.

Now I’m sure this post will attract a lot of scientific method purists that insist that 99% of these tests are invalid because they were conducted in uncontrolled environments, or didn’t account for all possible external variables, etc. And they would be absolutely right, but I respond with a paragraph from John Quarto-von Tivadar’s MarketingLand post, mainly because I couldn’t have said it better myself:

Ever hear the adage, “Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong”? It’s a great way to think about testing and improvement of any kind, because it deals with the fact that the first step toward improvement always “feels” the hardest. It speaks to the moment when you’re most susceptible to false objections like “It’s too complex!” or “That’s inefficient!”

In my opinion, these studies are incredibly valuable and interesting, and should be read and understood with a conscious understanding that they are not examples of perfect science. They’re “helpful” observations, that in most cases increase our understanding of the science of SEO and its best practices, even if they’re not scientifically sound.






  • First-Link Anchor Text Attribution
    Rand confirms that only the first link in the source code, pointing to any other specific page on the web, actually passes any anchor text attribution. So don’t think you’re helping your home page by linking with “cheap gifts” in your footer, after you’ve linked to your home page 3 times already.
  • First Link Counted Rebunked
    SEO Scientist Rebunks SEOmoz’s tests on first link anchor text attribution.


This list is certainly not complete, so please be as generous in the comments as these professionals were kind enough to post their findings for our benefit in the first place, by adding any tests you’ve conducted, or that you feel will complete this list (to date).