We engage in SEO experimentation all the time and most of this experimentation has nothing to do with reverse-engineering search algorithms. When you just “try something” on your Website what you are really doing is looking for a better fit between your Website and the current search environment. Just because you see a significant change in search referral traffic does not in any way indicate that you have uncovered some search algorithm secret. The Theorem of Four SEO Inluences teaches us that search traffic patterns change for any of four reasons: You change your Website Other people change their Websites The search engines change algorithms and/or data People change how they search More importantly, in any complex process there are multiple possible combinations of sub-processes that may produce unexpected or statistically unlikely results. Hence, changing something doesn’t mean that there is a direct correlation between the change you make and any change you see in search referral traffic. And that is true even if you follow the do/undo/do/undo model I have advocated through the years. Repeating an experiment gives you a better foundation for saying “doing ALPHA leads to BETA” but you may not have enough information to understand why […]
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