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SEO Test: Google doesn’t care about Keywords in the Meta Description

This is a follow-up on my buddy Dave’s post a few days ago: “Do Keywords in the Meta Description Count as Keywords”

He tossed out a test which checked to see if keywords in the meta description were a good, helpful thing…it turns out, then are not.  Worthless in fact.

Here is what he did – he posted the article and then, as the test, put a made up word in the meta description “skiraluntants” – here it is:

Here is the source of the page where you can see the keyword “skiraluntants” clearly in the meta description.

The site was published and percolated for a few days and was indexed by Google.  We know this because if we search for the page using the “site:” – it will show us it is indexed.

Yup – Google indexed the page – you can see the keywords in the meta description, but check the next picture out…

But now search for the keywords (skiraluntants) – no dice.

Google is indexing your keywords in the meta description? It depends on what the mean is is, is…

Even in Google’s own documentation about Webmaster tools is doesn’t ever say that the description tag will be used for search – they say “This tag provides a short description of the page. In some situations this description is used as a part of the snippet shown in the search results”.
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/keywords-meta-tag-in-web-search/

Google clearly states “Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking.”  Many SEO’s and other “gurus” still insist it is important and “it couldn’t hurt” – but it is just not necessary.

So – it is a fact.  Google does not care about your keywords in the meta description – the only thing they use it for is to show a nice pretty summary for the search to read.  Don’t get me wrong – this is SUPER important for readability, it is just not indexed.

This makes sense – they don’t want to allow human intervention if at all possible.  If Google used the meta description, then we SEO loving humans could “help” describe the page.  By using the meta description for the SERP, then we can at least help the searchers find what they are looking for.

SEO Test: Does Google look at more than the H1 tag?

UPDATE: 2012/07/10

Check it out below.

 

Well – here we are again, we have a new test to look at. This time we are looking at the effects of strict HTML on the way Google measures a page.

The essential question of does Google look at more than the H1 tag when analyzing a page?

The theory is – if we have a page with just an H1 and no content – does Google care?  We know that Google is getting very good at more complicated HTML and javascript pages – but how deep are they doing to determine the SEO focus of any given page?

We also know the importance of good headings in regards to SEO.  SEO is dependent on the heading tags.

So we setup 2 keywords and 3 pages each.

The first page is a keyword in the H1, but no content.  Page two is keyword in the H1, but non-related words as content.  The finally – we have keyword in H1, and keyword once in the content.

Then we  replicated the entire thing again with an additional keyword…

OK – check back and let us know what your guess on the results in the comments.

Keyword 1: freatwqakhy (https://www.google.com/search?q=freatwqakhy)
Keyowrd 2: vihnjkyelyot (https://www.google.com/search?q=vihnjkyelyot)

Keyword 1 samples:

Keyword 2 samples:

Tom’s Guess:

My guess is the sample 1 is crap and will get shunned, sample 2 will will and sample 2 will still get indexed – but behind 3.  I think Google is looking – but not that much.

Basically I think, “does Google look at more than the H1 tag” – no.  They talk a big game, but in the end still reply on very few ranking signals…we will soon see.

So – does Google look at more than the H1 tag?

Answers to come…

Updated 2012/07/10


We have an update – the initial results are in and more seems to be better.

Here is the results after 2-3 days.

Same thing here – after 2-3 days of being in the wild.

We may have to devise another test – my fear is we have more keywords on the page so it may increase frequency.

SEO Test: Does keyword position matter to Google?

It came up again today at work (Clickstop) where we had a SEO discussion about different SEO Tests, this time it was the idea of “Does keyword position matter to Google?”.  Basically – does it really matter what position on the page your keyword shows up?

Here’s the idea:

Assumptions:

  • Same keyword for each page
  • Different paragraph text for each page (via Bacon Ipsum)
  • No keyword used for the link – we’ll just use the url to the page
  • We also are not using the keyword in the title

Steps:

  1. Create a keyword:  ch4s3Lwksyhes
  2. Build out 16 pages and place the keyword using the concepts in the above diagram.
  3. Link to all the pages, using the url as the anchor text:
  4. Hide and watch Google go…

So – what do you think?   Does keyword position matter to Google?

SEO Test: Google Penguin, how does it work?

UPDATED 5/14 – SEE BELOW

We’re interested in seo, seo tests and all the changes to the search results in engines like Bing and Google.  One of the latest is called Penguin and it has caused quite a stir.  We like SEO tests – so we thought we’d SEO Test Google Penguin.

My buddy Dave and I were thinking about it and come up with this test we think will give us a little more detail of how Penguin works and how we can avoid the pitfalls it may “cause”.

Here is the test:

 

SEO Test: Step away from the Penguin

  1. Make up a keyword to test:
    mqwnrwdrd
  2. Make 2 pages which contain the keyword (Destination page), then build 4 pages to link to them, then link to those 4 here:

    Destination Pages

    • p-test-01.html
    • p-test-02.html

    Link From Pages

  3. Let things float around a bit and see what shakes out.

It is hard to say what will happen exactly – but if what we think about penguin is correct, then Destination 1 should rank above Destination 2.  We shall see.

Update – 5/13 (More below)

Well, we’re not even a full two day sin and we’ve been indexed – the “Link from pages” have been indexed, but it doesn’t appear the “Destination pages” have yet…here are the results so far on Google and Bing.

Bing results of Google Penguin Test from 05-13-2012

Google results of Google Penguin Test from 05-13-2012

I am always curious how long it takes for the indexing t happen – and it really seems there are two Google bots active.  You get a first pass by the “collector” bot and then a “re-factoring” bot which comes along later to help “Panda and Penguin-ize” things a bit.

Update – 5/14

Now one of the destination pages has been found – it was #2, or the one link to only via the keyword text.  It will be interesting to see what happens when the “re-factoring” bot comes along…

This is a look at the results from Google on Monday 5/14 - three days into the test.

And the google-bot rolls on.  I checked it again tonight and here is what I found.  We know have both destination pages found and also all 4 pages.  Now to see what happens as the Google algorithm takes over.

Looks like both destination pages have been found.