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keyserholiday

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I am having an interesting discussion about SEO. The person started their statement by claiming that SEO is a guessing game. I say that there are absolutes in SEO. What are your thoughts and why. This can be based on Local or organic SEO.
 
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I love @Colan Nielsen comment that it is really a "testing" game rather than a guessing game! There are absolutely absolutes in SEO. However some factors that are proven thru case studies and repeated testing may offer little advantage in certain industries or based on the level of competition. Kind of like the difference between10,000 ounces versus 9,999 ounces, there is absolutely a quantified difference in the weight but the value is vastly different if you are comparing one ounce of gold versus sand. One ranking factor may make a huge impact if competing in a small local market but won't matter much by itself if competing directly with Amazon. Also, there are ranking factors that by themselves may not have a noticeable impact...
I would say it's a combination of absolutes as well as a guessing game. Although instead of saying guessing game, I would reword it to say testing game.

Sometimes tests work out favorably and you discover things that become more or less absolutes. But things are always changing. So perhaps in that regard there are no absolutes, only temporary absolutes, if that's even a thing :)
 
I would say it's a combination of absolutes as well as a guessing game. Although instead of saying guessing game, I would reword it to say testing game.

Sometimes tests work out favorably and you discover things that become more or less absolutes. But things are always changing. So perhaps in that regard there are no absolutes, only temporary absolutes, if that's even a thing :)

Would saying there is a ranking benefit when you get ten reviews be an absolute? Would saying review recent impacts rankings be an absolute?
 
I would say yes it is. Until it isn't. I imagine most things that become part of the ranking algorithm will always be a part of it, but I think the degree to how much of a ranking factor things are definitely changes over time.
 
I love @Colan Nielsen comment that it is really a "testing" game rather than a guessing game! There are absolutely absolutes in SEO. However some factors that are proven thru case studies and repeated testing may offer little advantage in certain industries or based on the level of competition. Kind of like the difference between10,000 ounces versus 9,999 ounces, there is absolutely a quantified difference in the weight but the value is vastly different if you are comparing one ounce of gold versus sand. One ranking factor may make a huge impact if competing in a small local market but won't matter much by itself if competing directly with Amazon. Also, there are ranking factors that by themselves may not have a noticeable impact but have a cumulative effect when combined with other factors.

Just off the top of my head, here are some SEO absolutes:
  • Having a website versus not having a website
  • Keyword in Page Title, H1
  • website with HTTPS versus HTTP
  • mobile/responsive website
  • Quality content (requires testing, not guessing)
  • Review velocity
Then of course there are absolute negative SEO factors. One for sure is having unauthorized content/images on a website that is reported to DMCA and your website is delisted.
 
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