Branko Rihtman of SEOScientist presented an interesting idea about how to test SEO:

He calls the method “Multi-directional” experiments.  Basically here’s how it works:

  1. Benchmark where you are (e.g. rankings/traffic for a particular keyword)
  2. Test your theory by changing from State A to State B
  3. Wait a bit (at least until the changed pages have been crawled)
  4. Compare results v. benchmark
  5. Change State B back to State A
  6. Wait a bit (at least until the changed pages have been crawled)
  7. Compare results v. #4 & benchmark.
  8. If the change back to State A is similar to where you started then this might mean that your test is valid.
  9. Use a professional statistician to help validate your data
  10. Avoid personal bias
Other ideas:
When you test links, link not only to your website, but also to a website you have no control over.  If the other website behaves the same way as yours after the link is crawled, then that is a good sign that the link is working.

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3 Response Comments

  • Gab Goldenberg  June 15, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I suppose that if the change back to State A is not similar – this means there would be a boost regardless, so the link can’t be proven to have helped?

  • Ryan  June 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Of course, make sure you revert to state A before publicizing your test, as the publicity/links drawn from that would be likely to then impair your test.

  • Ash Buckles  July 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    This is a great, simple, approach. Thanks for sharing.

    I especially like the link testing ideas and have done some of that in the past. Probably a good time to apply again and see how the algos in 2010 respond.