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Survey: SEO Assumptions
Conducted by:
Eli Schwartz
Online Marketing Manager
SurveyMonkey
Background
• We created a survey to test 16 common SEO assumptions
• The survey was conducted via the SurveyMonkey Audience tool
• Respondents were randomly assigned into 1 of 2 surveys with 16
questions
• Survey sent to 3,000 people
• Survey was open for 5 days
• 615 people participated
• The following slides show a comparison of means between the 2
surveys when the data was shown to be statistically significant
• 2 surveys: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/seo-assumption-1 &
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/seo-assumption-2
• Actual survey response data: http://bit.ly/12kS2DfSlide
Who answered the surveys? Survey 1
Who answered the surveys? Survey 2
Summary of conclusions
• Search users are biased towards Google, but they consider Bing’s
results to be of equal quality to Google when branding is swapped
• A branded site impacts a user’s level of trust on content
• An increase in Facebook likes influence a users likelihood of sharing
content
• An increase in Tweets influences a users likelihood of sharing content
• An increase in Google Pluses influences a users likelihood of sharing
content
• Linking to high quality sites makes a site/content more trustworthy
• US users do not seem biased towards .COM vs .CA
• Users trust a guest post less when told that it is a guest post
• An exact match domain makes a user more likely to do an action like
fill out a lead
Summary of conclusions cont’d
• The publish date of content does not seem to affect user trust
• Poor grammar and spelling impacts user trust of content
• The greatest reasons users would block a site from appearing in
search is because of “too many ads” and “poor content”
• If a user does not find what they expect on a webpage after clicking
from search they will most likely go back to Google and click another
result
• 33% of users start web surfing on Google
• 76% of users rely on Google to search for information
• Users appear to be able to guess the context of a link whether there
is optimized anchor text or not
Question 1: Do users prefer Google or Bing
• Users in survey 1 were shown a Google search result page and a
Bing Search Result page for the query “File taxes”. The headers on
the SERP page showed whether it was a Bing or Google result
• Users in survey 2 were shown a Google search result page and a
Bing Search Result page for the query “File taxes”. The headers on
the SERP page were swapped, and users choosing Bing’s results
actually thought they were picking Google.
Question 1: Do users prefer Google or Bing
Google results
labeled as Bing
Bing results labeled
as Google
Bing results
Google results
Conclusion:
Users are
biased
towards
Google as a
result of the
brand
Q2: How much does brand matter for trust?
• Users in survey 1 were asked about their level of trust for an article
published on CNN.com
• Users in survey 2 were asked about their level of trust for an article
published on Internetnews.com
Q2: How much does brand matter for trust?
Conclusion:
Users have a
greater degree of
trust for content on
a recognized brand
Q3: Impact of Facebook Likes
• In survey 1 users were told that there were a large number of Likes
on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content.
• In survey 2 users were told that there were a small number of Likes
on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content.
Q3: Impact of Facebook Likes
Conclusion:
Facebook likes do
impact the
likelihood of
reading content
Q4: Impact of Tweets
• In survey 1 users were told that there were a large number of Tweets
on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content.
• In survey 2 users were told that there were a small number of Tweets
on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content.
Q4: Impact of Tweets
Conclusion:
Tweets do impact
the likelihood of
reading content
Q5: Impact of G Plus
• In survey 1 users were told that there were a large number of Google
pluses on a photo, and asked if they were likely to share the photo.
• In survey 1 users were told that there were a small number of
Google pluses on a photo, and asked if they were likely to share the
photo.
Q5: Impact of G Plus
Conclusion:
Pluses do impact
the likelihood of
sharing content
Q6: External links conveying trust
• In survey 1 users were told that a site they read links out to well
known sites.
• In survey 2 users were told that a site they read links out to unknown
sites.
Q6: External links conveying trust
Conclusion:
Outbound links do
impact the trust of
a site by users
Q7: US user trust of ccTLD
• In survey 1 users were told that they read an article on unknown
.COM site
• In survey 2 users were told that they read an article on unknown .CA
site
Q7: US user trust of ccTLD
Conclusion:
ccTLD does not
significantly impact
trust
Q8: Trust of guest posts
• In survey 1 users were informed that a writer was a staff writer and
asked to rate their trust of the article
• In survey 2 users were told that a writer was a volunteer writerand
asked to rate their trust of the article
Q8: Trust of guest posts
Conclusion:
Users trust a guest
poster less than a
staff writer
Q9: Exact match domain as a level of trust
• In survey 1 users were told that the site they are looking at is an
exact match for the business they sought.
• In survey 2 users were told that the site they are looking at is a
random domain name for the service they sought
Q9: Exact match domain as a level of trust
Conclusion:
Domain name
match to query
does motivate trust
Q10: Freshness
• In survey 1 users were told that the article was 10 days old
• In survey 2 users were told that the article was 2 years old
Q10: Freshness
Conclusion:
Publish date on
evergreen content
had no significant
difference
Q11: Spelling and Grammar
• In survey 1 users were shown an article about oil changes as it was
published on Discovery.com. Users were asked to assess their trust
of the article.
• In survey 2 users were shown the same article about oil changes but
typos were inserted and obvious grammar issues were inserted..
Users were asked to assess their trust of the article.
Q11: A
Q11: B
Q11: Spelling and Grammar
Conclusion:
Spelling and
grammar
impact trust
Q12: Users block sites in search
• This question was the same in both surveys
Q12: Users block sites in search
Q13: When users bounce
• This question was the same in both surveys
Q13: When users bounce
Q14: First website users go to
This question was the same in both surveys
Q14: First website users go to
Q15: Where users search for information
• This question was the same in both surveys
Q15: Where users search for information
Q16: Linking and context
• In survey 1 users were shown an article that used exact anchor text
to link to another site
• In survey 2 users were shown an article that used a domain name as
the anchor text to link to another site
16A: Linking and context (exact match)
16A: Linking and context (domain name)
Q16: Linking and context
Link contained anchor
text
Link did not contain
anchor text
Thank you!
Questions? Email: elis@surveymonkey.com or get in touch on
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/schwartze

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SEO Research Survey: Common SEO Assumptions and Real User Feedback

  • 1. Survey: SEO Assumptions Conducted by: Eli Schwartz Online Marketing Manager SurveyMonkey
  • 2. Background • We created a survey to test 16 common SEO assumptions • The survey was conducted via the SurveyMonkey Audience tool • Respondents were randomly assigned into 1 of 2 surveys with 16 questions • Survey sent to 3,000 people • Survey was open for 5 days • 615 people participated • The following slides show a comparison of means between the 2 surveys when the data was shown to be statistically significant • 2 surveys: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/seo-assumption-1 & https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/seo-assumption-2 • Actual survey response data: http://bit.ly/12kS2DfSlide
  • 3. Who answered the surveys? Survey 1
  • 4. Who answered the surveys? Survey 2
  • 5. Summary of conclusions • Search users are biased towards Google, but they consider Bing’s results to be of equal quality to Google when branding is swapped • A branded site impacts a user’s level of trust on content • An increase in Facebook likes influence a users likelihood of sharing content • An increase in Tweets influences a users likelihood of sharing content • An increase in Google Pluses influences a users likelihood of sharing content • Linking to high quality sites makes a site/content more trustworthy • US users do not seem biased towards .COM vs .CA • Users trust a guest post less when told that it is a guest post • An exact match domain makes a user more likely to do an action like fill out a lead
  • 6. Summary of conclusions cont’d • The publish date of content does not seem to affect user trust • Poor grammar and spelling impacts user trust of content • The greatest reasons users would block a site from appearing in search is because of “too many ads” and “poor content” • If a user does not find what they expect on a webpage after clicking from search they will most likely go back to Google and click another result • 33% of users start web surfing on Google • 76% of users rely on Google to search for information • Users appear to be able to guess the context of a link whether there is optimized anchor text or not
  • 7. Question 1: Do users prefer Google or Bing • Users in survey 1 were shown a Google search result page and a Bing Search Result page for the query “File taxes”. The headers on the SERP page showed whether it was a Bing or Google result • Users in survey 2 were shown a Google search result page and a Bing Search Result page for the query “File taxes”. The headers on the SERP page were swapped, and users choosing Bing’s results actually thought they were picking Google.
  • 8. Question 1: Do users prefer Google or Bing Google results labeled as Bing Bing results labeled as Google Bing results Google results Conclusion: Users are biased towards Google as a result of the brand
  • 9. Q2: How much does brand matter for trust? • Users in survey 1 were asked about their level of trust for an article published on CNN.com • Users in survey 2 were asked about their level of trust for an article published on Internetnews.com
  • 10. Q2: How much does brand matter for trust? Conclusion: Users have a greater degree of trust for content on a recognized brand
  • 11. Q3: Impact of Facebook Likes • In survey 1 users were told that there were a large number of Likes on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content. • In survey 2 users were told that there were a small number of Likes on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content.
  • 12. Q3: Impact of Facebook Likes Conclusion: Facebook likes do impact the likelihood of reading content
  • 13. Q4: Impact of Tweets • In survey 1 users were told that there were a large number of Tweets on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content. • In survey 2 users were told that there were a small number of Tweets on an article, and asked if they were likely to read the content.
  • 14. Q4: Impact of Tweets Conclusion: Tweets do impact the likelihood of reading content
  • 15. Q5: Impact of G Plus • In survey 1 users were told that there were a large number of Google pluses on a photo, and asked if they were likely to share the photo. • In survey 1 users were told that there were a small number of Google pluses on a photo, and asked if they were likely to share the photo.
  • 16. Q5: Impact of G Plus Conclusion: Pluses do impact the likelihood of sharing content
  • 17. Q6: External links conveying trust • In survey 1 users were told that a site they read links out to well known sites. • In survey 2 users were told that a site they read links out to unknown sites.
  • 18. Q6: External links conveying trust Conclusion: Outbound links do impact the trust of a site by users
  • 19. Q7: US user trust of ccTLD • In survey 1 users were told that they read an article on unknown .COM site • In survey 2 users were told that they read an article on unknown .CA site
  • 20. Q7: US user trust of ccTLD Conclusion: ccTLD does not significantly impact trust
  • 21. Q8: Trust of guest posts • In survey 1 users were informed that a writer was a staff writer and asked to rate their trust of the article • In survey 2 users were told that a writer was a volunteer writerand asked to rate their trust of the article
  • 22. Q8: Trust of guest posts Conclusion: Users trust a guest poster less than a staff writer
  • 23. Q9: Exact match domain as a level of trust • In survey 1 users were told that the site they are looking at is an exact match for the business they sought. • In survey 2 users were told that the site they are looking at is a random domain name for the service they sought
  • 24. Q9: Exact match domain as a level of trust Conclusion: Domain name match to query does motivate trust
  • 25. Q10: Freshness • In survey 1 users were told that the article was 10 days old • In survey 2 users were told that the article was 2 years old
  • 26. Q10: Freshness Conclusion: Publish date on evergreen content had no significant difference
  • 27. Q11: Spelling and Grammar • In survey 1 users were shown an article about oil changes as it was published on Discovery.com. Users were asked to assess their trust of the article. • In survey 2 users were shown the same article about oil changes but typos were inserted and obvious grammar issues were inserted.. Users were asked to assess their trust of the article.
  • 30. Q11: Spelling and Grammar Conclusion: Spelling and grammar impact trust
  • 31. Q12: Users block sites in search • This question was the same in both surveys
  • 32. Q12: Users block sites in search
  • 33. Q13: When users bounce • This question was the same in both surveys
  • 34. Q13: When users bounce
  • 35. Q14: First website users go to This question was the same in both surveys
  • 36. Q14: First website users go to
  • 37. Q15: Where users search for information • This question was the same in both surveys
  • 38. Q15: Where users search for information
  • 39. Q16: Linking and context • In survey 1 users were shown an article that used exact anchor text to link to another site • In survey 2 users were shown an article that used a domain name as the anchor text to link to another site
  • 40. 16A: Linking and context (exact match)
  • 41. 16A: Linking and context (domain name)
  • 42. Q16: Linking and context Link contained anchor text Link did not contain anchor text
  • 43. Thank you! Questions? Email: elis@surveymonkey.com or get in touch on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/schwartze