Unlocking SEO Secrets: Testing On-Page Factors for Higher Rankings

Unlocking SEO Secrets: Testing On-Page Factors for Higher Rankings

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Power of Sharing Real Things
  3. Isaac Newton and the Weight of Smoke
  4. The Scientific Method in SEO
  5. Setting up SEO Tests
    • Creating a Fake Keyword
    • Obtaining Good Lorem Ipsum
    • Setting Up Control and Test Pages
    • Waiting for Indexing
  6. Analyzing On-Page Factors
    • The Importance of Meta Title
    • The Role of H1, H2, and H3 Headings
    • The Impact of Keyword Placement in URL and Body Text
  7. Testing Page Title vs H1 Heading
  8. Investigating the Influence of Website Traffic on Rankings
    • The Hypothesis: Visits as a Ranking Factor
    • Testing with Controlled Traffic
    • Interpreting the Results
    • Exploring Additional Variables in Traffic Testing
  9. Conclusion
  10. References

Isaac Newton, SEO Tests, and the Weight of Smoke

In the realm of SEO, knowledge is power. The ability to understand and influence search engine rankings is a valuable skill, but how do we separate fact from opinion in the ever-changing landscape of SEO techniques? In this article, we'll delve into the importance of testing and experimentation, drawing inspiration from the story of Sir Isaac Newton and his quest to measure the weight of smoke. By following the principles of the scientific method, you too can uncover valuable insights and gain a competitive edge in the world of search engine optimization.

The Power of Sharing Real Things

Before we dive into the world of SEO testing, it's important to recognize the value of authenticity and genuine sharing. In a world where conferences can be divided into sales pitches and educational sessions, the real power lies in the conferences where people share their failures, insecurities, and knowledge. By embracing this culture of openness and vulnerability, we create an environment of growth and learning. So let's embark on this journey together and uncover real insights that can shape our SEO strategies.

Isaac Newton and the Weight of Smoke

Now, let's travel back in time to the 1660s and meet the famous scientist Sir Isaac Newton. While he is renowned for his contributions to physics, such as his laws of motion and theory of gravity, there's another side to Newton that is often forgotten - his presence in the British aristocracy party scene. With his good looks, height, and intelligence, Newton captivated the opposite sex with his scientific prowess. He firmly believed that science could measure and quantify everything, and he was about to face a challenge that put his beliefs to the test.

One fateful night at a party, a Baron confronted Newton, challenging his claim that science could measure anything. This altercation led to a bet, and Newton found himself tasked with measuring the weight of smoke. Undeterred, Newton applied the scientific method and devised an ingenious experiment using a cigar. He placed the cigar on a scale, lit it, and let it burn entirely until only ash remained. By subtracting the weight of the ash from the initial weight, Newton determined the weight of the vanished smoke. He triumphantly revealed that science had indeed quantified the weight of smoke.

The moral of this story? Everything is measurable if approached with the right mindset. Newton's journey parallels our own in the world of SEO testing. By following the scientific method and conducting experiments, we can acquire knowledge that sets us apart from mere enthusiasts.

The Scientific Method in SEO

To truly understand the power of SEO experiments, it's crucial to embrace the scientific method. This intellectual and practical approach involves systematic observation and experimentation with the aim of understanding the structure and behavior of the natural world. But how does this translate to the field of SEO?

As SEO professionals, we are essentially scientists, constantly making observations and testing hypotheses. By adopting the scientific method, we can refine our strategies and gain a deeper understanding of the factors that influence search engine rankings. So let's break down the process and explore how we can apply it to our SEO experiments.

Setting up SEO Tests

  1. Creating a Fake Keyword: When conducting experiments, it's essential to choose a keyword that doesn't exist in Google's database. This ensures that our tests are not influenced by existing competition. Adding Q's, X's, or K's to the fake keyword helps eliminate accidental matches and refine the experiment.

  2. Obtaining Good Lorem Ipsum: Lorem ipsum is a useful tool for creating dummy text. When selecting a lorem ipsum generator, ensure it provides options for paragraphs or words. This flexibility allows for testing different content variations and their impact on rankings.

  3. Setting Up Control and Test Pages: To isolate variables and compare results, create two identical pages - a control page and a test page. Both pages should contain the same lorem ipsum content, along with the fake keyword. The only difference between the two pages should be the element being tested.

  4. Waiting for Indexing: Once the control and test pages are published, wait for search engines to index them. This typically takes a few days, depending on the crawling frequency of the search engine. Using an indexer like LinkLashus can expedite the indexing process.

Analyzing On-Page Factors

  1. The Importance of Meta Title: In our tests, the meta title consistently emerged as the most critical on-page factor. It consistently indexed first and played a significant role in rankings. Pay attention to optimizing your meta titles to enhance your chances of ranking higher.

  2. The Role of H1, H2, and H3 Headings: Headings serve as valuable signals to search engines, indicating the main topics and hierarchy of content. Our experiments revealed that H1 headings and, surprisingly, H3 headings had a notable impact on rankings. Utilize headings strategically to improve your SEO.

  3. The Impact of Keyword Placement in URL and Body Text: The positioning of keywords in the URL and body text significantly influences rankings. By including the target keyword intelligently and naturally, you can improve your chances of ranking higher. Avoid keyword stuffing and focus on creating compelling, informative content.

Testing Page Title vs H1 Heading

One common area of debate in SEO circles is whether the page title and the H1 heading should be the same or different. To resolve this question, we conducted a series of tests with identical pages, varying only the synchronization of the page title and H1 heading. The hypothesis was that having them different would yield better results.

Multiple iterations of the experiment consistently demonstrated that having the page title and H1 heading different from each other was advantageous in terms of rankings. So, if you're aiming to optimize your pages, consider making minor alterations between the page title and H1 heading for improved SEO performance.

Investigating the Influence of Website Traffic on Rankings

Website traffic is often touted as a crucial ranking factor. However, without concrete evidence, it remains speculation. To demystify this topic, we set up controlled traffic experiments to gauge its impact on search engine rankings.

The hypothesis was clear: a page that receives visits or traffic will outrank a page that receives none. To test this, we created two identical pages: a control page with no visits and a test page that received controlled bot traffic. The visits were specifically designed to emulate real users, consisting of short on-page durations and high bounce rates to mimic typical user behavior.

The results astounded us. In every instance, the test pages that received controlled traffic consistently outranked the control pages that received no visits. This suggests that even low-quality traffic, which does not engage or convert, has a direct impact on rankings. While the mechanism behind this phenomenon warrants further exploration, the lesson is clear: website traffic, in any form, influences search engine rankings.

Expanding on this initial experiment, we continue to delve into the intricacies of traffic testing. Exploring variables such as time on site, bounce rate, and pageviews provides a comprehensive understanding of how different aspects of visitor behavior affect rankings. By combining controlled traffic experiments with other SEO signals, we can gain invaluable insights into the search engine algorithms.


In the world of SEO, experimentation is key. By adopting the scientific method and conducting controlled tests, we can separate facts from mere opinions. The weight of smoke teaches us that everything is measurable if approached with the right mindset.

Through our tests, we have explored the significance of on-page factors, such as meta titles, headings, and keyword placement. We have also investigated the impact of website traffic on search engine rankings, revealing its importance regardless of its quality.

As SEO professionals, we have the privilege of being scientists in a rapidly evolving field. By embracing testing and experimentation, we can uncover valuable insights, refine our strategies, and stay one step ahead in the ever-changing world of SEO.


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