30 Interesting SEO Experiments: Part 4 of 6

16. Anchor Text Effect

While keyword anchor text links used to work in favor of a site’s SEO, the Google Penguin update put a stop to all that. This experiment set out to use related keyword terms (related to the main keyword) on a new site to see if this helped or hindered SEO placement. Turns out, the site’s ranking showed improvement from using related keywords as opposed to main keywords.

17. Nofollow Links

Since nofollow links are ignored by Google, is there any benefit to using them? Marketers set up several new web sites to see if nofollow links influenced site rankings. The links were added gradually over a five week period.

Results from this experiment showed adding nofollow links actually improved site rankings. Also, improvements appeared in proportion to the number of nofollow links added.

18. How Does Google Run Its Image Search Tool?

Curious as to how Google handles image indexing, a group of online marketers created a folder of 100 images using numbers as names for each image. Not only did Google have all the images indexed in less than a day’s time but it also seemed to scramble the image results in a random order. There was also some lag time in processing images in their entirety.

19. How Well Does Google’s Disavow Tool Work?

When too many spam sites post backlinks to your site, Google can actually penalize your site. In cases where spammy backlinking sites do this without your permission, Google offers its Disavow tool, which helps webmasters eliminate bad backlinks. An experiment conducted using this tool for this purpose showed the tool removed over 95 percent of these links.

20. Anchor Text Variations & Their Effects

No doubt the content of an anchor link affects rank status, but how does anchor text placement affect rank status? For this round, marketers set up new sites and placed anchor text in three different areas: inside paragraphs, nearby images and by themselves on blank pages. The results showed anchor text links used inside paragraphs ranked well. Links placed inside image tags ranked best while those situated on blank pages ranked poorly.