30 Interesting SEO Experiments: Part 5 of 6

21. Playing with the Canonical Tag

Other than its use in identifying genuine site content versus duplicate sites, marketers looked into whether the canonical tag could be used to create other effects. To try this out, the tag was used to point to non-existing site pages. Marketers also tried placing the tag in wrong locations throughout the web page. Apparently, Google only trusts these tags when their situated properly and only when they designate an existing page.

22. Emotion-Oriented Keyword Selections

Trying to rank for competitive keywords will forever remain an uphill battle. One marketer tried to put a spin on this by adding an emotion-type qualifier to the main keyword, such as “easy SEO tricks” versus just “SEO tricks.” Interestingly enough, it worked and made it that much easier to rank with a highly competitive keyword.

23. Tracking Down Broken Links

Since broke links don’t fare well with Google’s Panda update, webmasters would do well to find and fix them promptly. This experiment tried out the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin to see how well it works. The plugin found all of the broken links on a test site and fixed them. Granted, this does little to improve site ranking, but it does keep Google from deranking your site.

24. Press Release Links

Do press release banklinks have any effects on search rank? This experiment linked two press releases to two website pages. One of the pages had regular links while the other one didn’t. Neither page had existing backlinks. Along with increased traffic from the backlinks, both pages saw a boost in Google rankings.

25. Does Google Count All Backlinks or Just the First One?

For web pages containing more than one backlink to the same site, rumor has it Google only counts the first link and may even penalize sites for more than one. To test this, marketers used an unranked site with backlinks containing different keywords. Apparently, Google does count all the links (and their corresponding keywords), with each link affecting site rank overall.