Sex, Speed And The SEO Migration of Romantic Depot to WordPress

Romantic Depot operates six, soon to be seven adult stores offering sex toys and lingerie, in the New York City area.  Their flagship stores are in Manhattan and the Bronx.  They’ve been around for sometime and over the years their website aged along with other businesses seeking to help drive local foot traffic.

With the move to mobile devices in full demonstration the old RomanticDepot.com site was not responsive.  This lead the owner of the chain to build a new site that was mobile friendly and it lead to Ultimate SEO‘s involvement overseeing the process of migrating to this new site without hurting the site’s strong local SEO presence.

Romantic Depot does have an impressive keyword positioning presence in the New York City area. Even nationally they are on page 2 of results for “sex shop“.  The goal was to ensure a smooth transition to the mobile site while maintaining the SEO that had been built over the years.

301 Redirects

The new site was largely a 1 to 1 ratio.  The html static page manhattan.html went now to /manhattan/ on the WordPress site.  We placed in any one off redirects, a redirect that took any url that ended in .html and would return it without the html and a redirect for the index.html homepage to come back with the WordPress homepage at /

Backlink

Backlinks are the life blood of a sit’s ranking and it was important to ensure that those would be maintained with relevant content as well.  Using SEMRush.com we collected all of the backlinks and their existing targets and ensured those had rules as well.  While the site’s backlinks were in the tens of thousands it quick came down to a few hundred target urls that needed to be accounted for to maintain SEO.

Site Speed

Most of the work involved in preparing for the migration was speed performance in nature.  The new site when tested on GTMetrix.com was loading in 12.6 seconds with over 400 http requests. We targeted a 3 second load and through Cloudflare.com we were able to utilize a CDN that brought the site closer to users as well as offered other benefits.  Cloudflare alone brough the site load time to about 7 seconds.

We further limited content that could be on other pages for those other pages such as Google maps to the location homepages. Instituting lazy load ended up being the primary aspect of speeding up the site.  Image optimization was also completed and a move to PHP7.3 from 5.6.  Merging CSS and JS files also worked to reduce the requests.

SIte Speed FOr SEO MIgration

SIte Speed FOr SEO MIgration

With our work to provide a faster site complete the migration was completed and load times on the site are under 3 seconds for mobile users.

Multi Domain Strategy Consolidation

During the migration I also mentioned the value of building one brand.  RomanticDepotSuperStore.com was the site used as the online store for the chain.

The problem that arises from multiple domain strategies is the segmentation of resources and confusion it can cause to Google Analytics.  An easy eample of this is the bounce rate and pageviews metrics are actually hurt on the primary domain.

Consider this… a person searches romantic depot on Google.  The first result is their site, likely the person is going to want to know what items might be at the store.  Once the page loads they find the link to the store, maybe even before the page loads.  Clicking that link they are now taken to a new domain.

That visitors actions would have counted as a bounced visitor.  See when someone goes to your site and immediately leaves for another site that signals to Google that what was on that original site wasn’t what the searcher wanted.  To prevent future searchers from going to a site that people leave directly after going to it they might increase the position of other sites to try and correct for this in the future.  That ultimately means the top spot position for the keyword is being hampered by the site’s structure.

Further Google sees that a person wasn’t even interested enough in the site to look at a second page, they just left.  In realty the second site is part of the same overall topic or brand its just that Google doesn’t necessarily understand that.  An artificially inflated bounce rate and lower page views are all that the first site is getting and the second site is losing out as well as most of the marketing is surrounding the first site’s address…backlinks, social mentions and such.

Lower Bounce Rate

The illustration above shows our page views of the main root domain.  Guess when on the graph the romanticdepotsuperstore.com site was rolled into the main domains … late July.  The thing is, the traffic isn’t any greater its just not split up anymore.  The homepage link to the store is now going to a subfolder of the same domain, its helping by acting as another page view rather than hurting the site as a bounce.

The keywords and authority of this additional site were better utilized under the main domain RomanticDepot.com and this site was migrated to a subfolder /store as a separate WordPress site.

Thats important the site was migrated as a separate site under the original.  This was done for multiple reason and it creates its own set of unique challenges but we’ll discuss that later in a future post.

Consolidated Backlinks

The consolidation of the sites further helps with SEO because after we migrated we put into place redirects from the store’s domain to its new home within the subfolder.  That means all the backlinks now combine to help one site.  Lets consider the following illustration…

Domain A: DA 30 Backlinks: 10,000 Referring Domains: 1,000

Domain B: DA 30 Backlinks: 9,000 Referring Domains: 900

Competitor: DA 35 Backlinks: 13,000 Referring Domains: 1,300

Lets assume everything else is the same…we’d expect then that Competitor will rank higher on Google Search.  But if we combine Domain A ad Domain B.

Domain AB: DA 40 Backlinks: 19,000 Referring Domains: 1,900

Everything else still the same….Domain AB will now rank higher than the Competitor.

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Link Building: Redirecting Expired Domains Backlinks

Link building is one of the harder  aspects of SEO and because of this one of the least done. Unfortunately it is many times more powerful than anything you do to your page and content.  No level of optimization of content will trump the power of well placed relevant backlinks.

Its so hard few ever do it, and those same people probably say that “SEO is dead.”  It is if all you’re doing is keyword optimization.  75% of what decides the results for a search have nothing to do with what is on the page.

Expired Domain Backlinks

Every day thousands of domains expire.  The owner just didnt renew it, maybe they forgot it.  Whatever the reason the domain is now available to anyone for registering again.  But what happens to all those pages on the internet that linked to that expired domain?  Nothing usually….each site would have to go through and update their own conten.

As a site owner you can probably understand that means the bcklinks of an expired domain usually remain active.  This link building strategy involves you purchsing that domain, then redirecting the existing backlinks to your relevant content.  

This video series walks you through three steps.  First, finding the expired domain. Second, reviewing the domain anchor text.  Third, setting those redirects to your site.

For more info on assessing a site’s value continue reading after the videos below under the SEO Site Audit header.

Video 1 – Finding and sorting through expired domains

All links below, open in a new window.

You’ll use expireddomains.net in this video.  Other resources are available, but this is the one I use that is free.

Video 2 – Assessing the expired domains use through anchor text.

You’ll use SEMrush.com to review the anchor text of a site’s backlinks.  SEMRush does cost monthly to use but you can ret the free trial.  There are other sites available as well but for the value I prefer SEMRush for backlink auditing..

Video 3 – Setting up 301 Redirects to your site

You’ll use a cPanel hosting account provided by many hosting companies.  Ultimate SEO Hosting is our hosting solution offering these capabilities for a few dollars a month. 

301 Redirects Transfer 100% SEO

Google’s John Mueller shared how Google passes 100% of “PageRank” with 301 redirects now.  This is an update and change to the policy which used to cause a 10% penalty.

They don’t always pass PageRank though.  You can’t redirect backlinks for a bakery to your political campaign site for instance.  Redirects should also be assigned on a 1:1 ratio.  So redirecting all 404 errors to your homepage will not make your homepage any better on Google.  But redirecting a link that used to go to an article about Search Engines to an article about Search Engines should be fine.

google on 301 redirect page rank

You can read SearchEngineJournal.com’s take on this as well.

SEO Site Audit

Ultimateseo.org has a DA 19, that seems pretty low. But keep in mind it used to be a DA 40 before Moz changed it’s scoring. Keep also in mind that change in scoring showed no reflection in the site’s ranking. I recommend 301 redirecting based on anchor text not necessarily on the score a site earns.

Longer Answer: What backlinks should be 301 redirected from another domain?

While it is a Domain Authority 19 now it is a CF 34, and a TF 14. It has a DR 45, and a DS 24, TS 22, AS 36 ….. head spinning yet? As a reminder here are what those abbreviations mean … and to whom.

SEO Metrics

  • DA is Domain Authority created by Moz
  • CF is Citation Flow created by Majestic
  • TF is Trust Flow created by Majestic
  • DR is Domain Rank created by AHREFS
  • DS is Domain Score created by SEMRush
  • TS is Trust Score by SEMRush
  • AS is Authority Score by SEMRush

DA is Unreliable To Me

The DA metric lost a lot of credence in my mind when they redid their formula, it made it more obvious that it’s just a number in a vacuum. What we saw after Moz released DA2.0 was as a DA40 became a DA19 it wasn’t reflective by what Google saw.

The day before this site ranked as it did the day after DA2.0. Google doesn’t use DA and what we care about is what does Google think about a site.

So Id say if we want to redirect 301 links we can …. and I do. But I do it because the anchor text is what I want, not because a site’s DA is low.

Assessing A Site’s SEO Value

When we assess if a site is high or low we have to consider all of the SEO metrics we have available and use these numbers together. Keep in mind they are not intended to be apples to apples. For instance Citation Flow is how influential a site appears where Trust Flow and Trust Score are meant to tell us how trustworthy a site is considered. AS is Authority Score which I lump in with CF. I think of DA, DR and DS as comparable metrics.

So assessing if this site is low or high I’d say we have the following metrics:

Overall scores: DA: 19 DR: 45 DS: 24

Trustworthiness: TF: 14 TS: 22

Authority: AS: 36 CF: 34

It’s also important to look at some of the raw indicators to understand the values we are seeing above. I use Majestic, SEMRush And Moz to answer these questions, and I always expect Majestic to have higher numbers because it crawls more of the web than Moz.

Moz likely would say they crawl more of the relevant web … but who are they to decide whats relevant and I dont care what they think is relevant … just what Google crawls.

Backlinks: So how many links to my site are there?

Backlinks . Moz: 18445 Majestic: 139903 SEMRush 1000000*

Backlinks are fine and dandy but keep in mind a million from one website vs a hundred from a hundred sites says something. So what is the “Domain Pop” … how many domains link to our site?

Domain Pop: MAJ 1302 SEMRush: 4,000

Domains can be owned and operated easily from the same cheap shared host. So how many seperate IP Addresses link to our site?

IP Pop: SEMRush 885 Majestic 905

These numbers above 885 and 905 seem a lot more comparable to each other than some of the other numbers.

Now consider a site that may have a DA: 50 vs Ultimate SEO’s DA: 19. I’m willing to bet 9 times out of 10 Ultimate SEO will out rank the other site as long as the other site has 500 or less domains on different IP addresses.

Better Backlinks and Best Backlinks

Trustworthy

Now to be fair this explanation above is overly simplifying the answer. You may wonder how that could be … it seems rather complicated. Well ask yourself which site would you rank higher … a site that has a link to it from 20 research universities or a site that has 200 links to it from random weirdly named domains? Obviously the 20 research universities suggests a more authoritative and trustworthy site.

Authority On The Topic

But getting more complicated what if the page we are considering for ranking is about 2000 dance mixes. The 20 research universities are all medical schools and the anchor text reads “open heart surgery mortality rates” … do we think that the site should rank that high now…and how authoritative do we think the site is on dance remixes of 2000?

301 Backlinks Based On Backlinks Not Your Domain

So the best answer I can give for when to 301 redirect a domain or not is to ignore any one metric completely. If multiple numbers lead you to believe a site isn’t going to be good then sure consider each backlink individually. Keeping in mind what earned the site a low metric across the board IS mostly those backlinks.

If you find a .gov or .edu link using the anchor text you are after on another site then yes … thats the time to 301 redirect that backlink to the best content you have that is relevant to that anchor text. That last part is essential.

You can’t expect long term gains by redirecting a backlink to content that isn’t able to hold its own. User behavior is a big factor in Google’s ranking of a site. And it should be, you can’t prevent what you cant predict.

After all is said and done if no one stays on a site for more than 10 seconds or if they always click the result after yours in Google’s search results you must ask yourself why users hate your content.

And I mean it … people hate your content if you have 301 redirected, optimized your on page and studied your backlinks but users still go elsewhere. Google may rank you high for a time but without users liking your content and staying for awhile you will drop in rankings due to user behavior.

https://ultimateseo.org/link-building-redirect/

Search Engine Ranking: Website Ranking Keywords Backlinks And All

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Search Engine Ranking: Website Ranking Keywords Backlinks And All

SEO Vs PPC: Backlink Project Increases Traffic 1200%

This is the power of backlinks at their best. A recent client complained that they have never ranked on page one of Google for their brand name product. After a thorough review of the site and it’s off page factors I listed out the issues the site faced and what would correct the site’s performance.

Diagnosing SEO Problem

Its important to perform an SEO Audit of a site to determine what needs to change.

  1. Backlinks: Hardly any domains linked to the site using the brand name as the anchor text. This was the greatest issue the site faced in ranking.
  2. On-Page SEO: Rather than using <h1><h2> header tags the site utilized CSS styled <div> tags. These visually looked the same to a visitor but that failed to provide the direction that the header tags would to a search engine bot.
  3. Technical SEO: The site load time was 20 seconds. A single auto starting video on the homepage accounted for 18.5 seconds of this load time. After removing it in a test page the site loaded in 1.5 seconds.  A site needs to load in a 3 second load time, 5 seconds is acceptable but also the limit.
  4. PPC Vs. SEO Landing Page: The site was laid out as a single page web site with nearly 10,000 words…all possible related content was on the single landing page which was likely well suited for PPC but not SEO. Google couldn’t easily return a specific page that had a lot of content on a specific keyword.

Ultimate SEO made suggestions that were ignored largely on the second, third and fourth points, often people stay fixed to their status quo. Ultimate SEO had control over the most important SEO factor which was the site’s backlinks at least and I went to work.

Backlinks And Referring Domains

increasing backlinks

increasing backlinks

After placing backlinks 15/15 new domains I had linked to the site we’re registered and added to the site’s formula. Traffic responded better than I expected…

organic seo traffic

organic seo traffic

Increasing Organic SEO Traffic

The site’s organic traffic had been previously in the single digits, now at 1,600 a month later I could claim a 1235% increase in organic traffic. The site had never received this much organic traffic. It had been largely fueled by an increase in keywords of over 600%. This is an example of how a domain’s authority and trust can be raised through backlinks to improve keyword adoption across the domain.

SEO Vs. PPC Traffic

The client had other similar site’s that I hadn’t focused on that saw updates to the onpage tags and discussion on the technical SEO challenges. These sites saw no real change in organic traffic during the same period.

The client had used PPC campaigns to promote the sites with their desired keywords and the costs associated with this neared a hundred thousand a month. The new organic SEO traffic is valued by SEMrush.com at nearly $7,000 a month. The beauty of this SEO position swing is that it’s going to be there for months to come under the right care and conditions. Where PPC is a one time boom to traffic.

User behavior is also generally more forgiving than paid traffic. Those who find your site via searching generally provide lower bounce percentages which in turn further improve your search position. So believe me when I say, backlinks make or break your ability to rank any content.  PPC is a great solution for short term needs and gains but the ROI is with SEO.

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SEO Vs PPC: Backlink Project Increases Traffic 1200%

WordPress site modifications and On Page SEO – Upwork

You have either clicked on this page or more likely you clicked on a link to our site or a sub-site that is no longer active. We want to help you find the resource you were after, below is every article on this site by category and tag. The site’s pages are available through the top navigation menu also. To access the sites home page just click Ultimate SEO, to contact us or submit a support ticket choose Support in the top navigation bar.

This page should help you get to what you wanted fast.  The last 5 posts are listed, under that every post is listed.  You can list posts by author, title or category using the drop down box. To display specific categories use the sidebar categories section. You may also search the site from the sidebar. Finally a tag cloud lists topics and keywords, you can select a tag and all articles with that tag will be displayed.

Our FAQ section is also a worth while visit for SEO tips and tricks.

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Technical SEO Expert for Top Level Domain Name Change – Upwork

You have either clicked on this page or more likely you clicked on a link to our site or a sub-site that is no longer active. We want to help you find the resource you were after, below is every article on this site by category and tag. The site’s pages are available through the top navigation menu also. To access the sites home page just click Ultimate SEO, to contact us or submit a support ticket choose Support in the top navigation bar.

This page should help you get to what you wanted fast.  The last 5 posts are listed, under that every post is listed.  You can list posts by author, title or category using the drop down box. To display specific categories use the sidebar categories section. You may also search the site from the sidebar. Finally a tag cloud lists topics and keywords, you can select a tag and all articles with that tag will be displayed.

Our FAQ section is also a worth while visit for SEO tips and tricks.

5 Last Posts

Find Posts By Category

Group by:

301

Affiliate Programs

Analytics

Anchor Text

Audits

Backlinks

Case Studies

Client Sites

Cloud

Cloud Computing

Cloud502

Cloudflare

CPC

Data

data management

Data Studio

Deleted Domains

Digital Ocean

Directory

Domain

Domain authority

Domain rank

Election 2018

Expired domains

External RSS

Featured

General

Good SEO Practices

Google Ads

Google Cloud

Google cloud platform

Google Data Studio

Google Search Console

Guest posts

Hosting

Images

JavaScript SEO

Keyword ranking

Keywords

Link building

Louisville seo

Matthew Leffler

My Opinion

News

Offsite

Organic search

Pbn 2019

Pbns

Php

Political SEO

PPC – Adwords

Private Blog Networks

Ranking

Ransomlinks

Redirect

Referring Domains

Rss

Security

Seo audit

SEO factor

Seo guide

SEO Jobs

Seo porn

Seo strategy

SEO Tools

SEO Trends

SEO Visualization

Site Updates

Social Media

Strategy

Technical SEO

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On Page SEO Just Doesn’t Rank Keywords like Backlinks

I wanna share a graphic I ran across online with you today.

According to this one if you want to impact your SEO standing all of the On Page Factors combined don’t reach even half the power of the Domains Backlinks and the Page’s Backlinks.

I often have clients who comb over their sites day after day tweaking the words on the page with bold or moving them to a header and if they spent 1/4 of that time trying to attract other sites to link to them they’d get 5 times the result.

Its one thing to say your the best, its a totally different thing if someone else says your the best. Or if someone says you’re the worst it really doesn’t matter how many times or ways you say you’re the best. It’s logical too…if you meet a person for the first time and they boldly proclaim how great they are to you, but someone else warns you that they’re full of it … what are you going to think?

We’ve discussed this a few times in other articles but when looking over the Upwork SEO projects its evident that few people understand this concept. Your page is defined by the link that lead Google to you. Sure working on the headers and img alt tags are useful, but only to support what your backlinks are saying.

Anchor text is the real keyword of search engines. This link to the best upwork SEO profile is more important than anything I put on that page.

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On Page SEO Just Doesn’t Rank Keywords like Backlinks

Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more!

What to do with a low ranking site?

I was asked a seemingly simple question by a client today. Should low level sites he owns be scrapped and used for their backlinks by 301 redirecting the sites.

Simplest Answer: I think it’s hard to quantify if a site is low level.

Ultimateseo.org has a DA 19, that seems pretty low. But keep in mind it used to be a DA 40 before Moz changed it’s scoring. Keep also in mind that change in scoring showed no reflection in the site’s ranking. I recommend 301 redirecting based on anchor text not necessarily on the score a site earns.

Longer Answer: What backlinks should be 301 redirected from another domain?

While it is a Domain Authority 19 now it is a CF 34, and a TF 14. It has a DR 45, and a DS 24, TS 22, AS 36 ….. head spinning yet? As a reminder here are what those abbreviations mean … and to whom.

SEO Metrics

  • DA is Domain Authority created by Moz
  • CF is Citation Flow created by Majestic
  • TF is Trust Flow created by Majestic
  • DR is Domain Rank created by AHREFS
  • DS is Domain Score created by SEMRush
  • TS is Trust Score by SEMRush
  • AS is Authority Score by SEMRush

DA is Unreliable To Me

The DA metric lost a lot of credence in my mind when they redid their formula, it made it more obvious that it’s just a number in a vacuum. What we saw after Moz released DA2.0 was as a DA40 became a DA19 it wasn’t reflective by what Google saw.

The day before this site ranked as it did the day after DA2.0. Google doesn’t use DA and what we care about is what does Google think about a site.

So Id say if we want to redirect 301 links we can …. and I do. But I do it because the anchor text is what I want, not because a site’s DA is low.

Assessing A Site’s SEO Value

When we assess if a site is high or low we have to consider all of the SEO metrics we have available and use these numbers together. Keep in mind they are not intended to be apples to apples. For instance Citation Flow is how influential a site appears where Trust Flow and Trust Score are meant to tell us how trustworthy a site is considered. AS is Authority Score which I lump in with CF. I think of DA, DR and DS as comparable metrics.

So assessing if this site is low or high I’d say we have the following metrics:

Overall scores: DA: 19 DR: 45 DS: 24

Trustworthiness: TF: 14 TS: 22

Authority: AS: 36 CF: 34

It’s also important to look at some of the raw indicators to understand the values we are seeing above. I use Majestic, SEMRush And Moz to answer these questions, and I always expect Majestic to have higher numbers because it crawls more of the web than Moz.

Moz likely would say they crawl more of the relevant web … but who are they to decide whats relevant and I dont care what they think is relevant … just what Google crawls.

Backlinks: So how many links to my site are there?

Backlinks . Moz: 18445 Majestic: 139903 SEMRush 1000000*

Backlinks are fine and dandy but keep in mind a million from one website vs a hundred from a hundred sites says something. So what is the “Domain Pop” … how many domains link to our site?

Domain Pop: MAJ 1302 SEMRush: 4,000

Domains can be owned and operated easily from the same cheap shared host. So how many seperate IP Addresses link to our site?

IP Pop: SEMRush 885 Majestic 905

These numbers above 885 and 905 seem a lot more comparable to each other than some of the other numbers.

Now consider a site that may have a DA: 50 vs Ultimate SEO’s DA: 19. I’m willing to bet 9 times out of 10 Ultimate SEO will out rank the other site as long as the other site has 500 or less domains on different IP addresses.

Better Backlinks and Best Backlinks

Trustworthy

Now to be fair this explanation above is overly simplifying the answer. You may wonder how that could be … it seems rather complicated. Well ask yourself which site would you rank higher … a site that has a link to it from 20 research universities or a site that has 200 links to it from random weirdly named domains? Obviously the 20 research universities suggests a more authoritative and trustworthy site.

Authority On The Topic

But getting more complicated what if the page we are considering for ranking is about 2000 dance mixes. The 20 research universities are all medical schools and the anchor text reads “open heart surgery mortality rates” … do we think that the site should rank that high now…and how authoritative do we think the site is on dance remixes of 2000?

301 Backlinks Based On Backlinks Not Your Domain

So the best answer I can give for when to 301 redirect a domain or not is to ignore any one metric completely. If multiple numbers lead you to believe a site isn’t going to be good then sure consider each backlink individually. Keeping in mind what earned the site a low metric across the board IS mostly those backlinks.

If you find a .gov or .edu link using the anchor text you are after on another site then yes … thats the time to 301 redirect that backlink to the best content you have that is relevant to that anchor text. That last part is essential.

You can’t expect long term gains by redirecting a backlink to content that isn’t able to hold its own. User behavior is a big factor in Google’s ranking of a site. And it should be, you can’t prevent what you cant predict.

After all is said and done if no one stays on a site for more than 10 seconds or if they always click the result after yours in Google’s search results you must ask yourself why users hate your content.

And I mean it … people hate your content if you have 301 redirected, optimized your on page and studied your backlinks but users still go elsewhere. Google may rank you high for a time but without users liking your content and staying for awhile you will drop in rankings due to user behavior.

Is A Site Low Level? DA vs CF vs TF … DR, DS, AS, TS and more!

Link Building: Guest Posts to UltimateSEO.org

Guest Posts or User Submitted Posts are content written by another author not working for the site in which the content is being displayed on.  UltimateSEO has a very easy guest post system and its free.  Content submitted to our site may be syndicated on as many as 300 other sites that we maintain or are affiliated with.  That can potential deliver you hundreds of backlinks from multiple domains.  We offer this feature free of charge at this time, but may charge in the future.  Why is it free when other sites charge?  Its because we want good content and diverse opinions.  So please ensure your post is original, timely, accurate and fresh.

Guest Posting is a win win scenario for us and you and your site.  You can write an original article and we’ll post it if it is about SEO or SEM in general.  Specific niche SEO topics are also welcome.  Writers can include backlinks of relevant in their posts.  We’d like to recommend no more than one link per 250 words.  If there is an issue we’ll let you know.  We also ask the your post include an image or an image per 500 words.  So .in a 2000 word SEO post we’d like to see no more than 8 links and we would like to see about 4 images.

Submit For Review

Ultimate SEO reserves the right to remove or edit posts on our site.  We will also provide credit to content creators who retain ownership of their content but license the display of that content to use by using this form.

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Speed: Page Load – Technical SEO Out Ranks Most In Mobile

A Case Study of SEO Metrics And Rank

Here is a recently added FAQ to the Ultimate SEO FAQ section.

Let me show you how important it is….desktop vs mobile search results

desktop vs mobile search results

Why is realtor.com not higher than zumper.com in the mobile search on the right?  Consider these metrics

Realtor.com = Domain Score: 55 Trust Score 58 Alexa Rank 763 Registered 1996 Ads 3,900 Backlinks 57,000,000 Traffic Rank 108

Zumper.com = Domain Score: 37 Trust Score 44 Alexa Rank 17,000 Registered 2004 Ads 0 Backlinks 1,700,000 Traffic Rank 2830

In every metric realtor.com wins, so why is it below Zumper.com on the mobile search?

Site Speed Test on GTMetrix

Realtor.com Fails Speed

site speed

site speed

Zumper.com Passes Speed

page load

page load

So in this example we clearly see a more popular site beaten by a less established site and the single only factor the smaller site did better was speed.  And we cant discount this as … well its only important in mobile.  In case you missed it…

60% of searches are mobile

60% of searches are mobile

Now when we consider the facts above lets also dispel people’s over fascination for keywords and text optimization and position of frequency of words, the content length …. on-site SEO, the SEO of the 1990s as I call it… both sites present the same content to the desktop and mobile versions they just differ wildly in the speed.  What are some of the reasons?  Realtor.com decided to present 16 rows of 3 images of homes to visitors while Zumper shows 4 rows of 1 image …. and then additional rows load as you scroll down.  Lazy Load and 1 image vs 3.  Thats how they keep their requests to about a third of the realtor.com page.

What Are Requests?

I’d suggest you think of requests as if they are shots from a gun at your head.  You need to avoid them!  Less shots is a lot better…

Requests are literally requests of the server before the page can load.  If I make a page with one image on it that is one request.  Lets say I decide to replace that image with a slider with 5 slides, now I have 5 requests … the same page area but that cool feature increases the trips required of a computer to quadruple!  Lets say now I add social media icons to the page … Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and an email icon …. small and just up in the right corner.  That social media addition just added 5 more requests.  Think about all the things on your page, they don’t all come together in one big Amazon package with a smile…. they are shipped to the computer individually.  Now I have one page with 1 request and another with 10 and the initial difference isn’t much…that slider only displays one image at a time.

Latency And Requests

Servers don’t respond instantly…they take a little while to think and retrieve the requested resource and then it has to travel the distance from the server to your computer…may be at the speed of light, but light still takes time.  This time is called latency.  50 milliseconds is a good latency.

If both servers in the FAQ had a 50 ms latency.  We can assume that the

Realtor.com server will take 50 ms x 301 requests = 15050 ms or 15 seconds

Zumper.com server will take 50 ms x 134 requests = 6700 ms or 6 seconds  

I hope this explains why you want to limit requests, and prioritize speed as much as you focus on keywords.

Ways To Decrease Requests

Do you need separate images?  On ultimateseo.org I wanted to show my COMPTia certifications.  I have 4 icons … I combined them to make one image.   Thats 1/4 the requests but no change in user experience other than a quicker site.

technical certifications

technical certifications

Lazy Load

Lazy Load also helps speed up the initial page load time.  If “below the fold” you have a lot of images on a page … the page needs those images still to finish the load unless you institute lazy load which essentially tells the computer to load an image only when it is coming into view.  This makes sense likely if you have 300 images on the page and plenty of them are scrolled far down….but all in all I’m on the fence on Lazy Load.  I ran speed tests on the homepage of this site with Lazy Load on …. 3 tests results 2.3 seconds, 1.9 seconds and 1.9 seconds.  I turned off lazy load, and reran the test and got 2.3 seconds, 1.9 seconds and 1.7 seconds.  So technically the site loaded faster with Lazy Load off….keep in mind it take a bit of thinking for the server to implement it. This helps speed up a site drastically if there are a ton of images spread vertically…but not much in a normal page.  What are the full implications on SEO when a site is crawled?

Its suggested by “Ask Yoast” that Lazy Load is fine for SEO and the images are rendered as Google scrolls down the page and indexes the content.

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