Getting the Whole Picture: The Importance of Sharing Bad Test Results



Recently I revisited a 2010 Conductor survey that revealed that the top Fortune 500 companies spent 3.4 million dollars per day on keyword research.

Guess what all that investment returned? Only 25% of those keywords appeared in the first 50 results on major search engines.

What’s changed now? As of this year, not much.

The figure above has risen to 28%, and major corporations still haven’t optimized to become more visible. Even though their financial figures are good, their online visibility for prospects seeking specific solutions is mediocre at best.

That’s why I’m calling for a new method of results and data sharing.

Call it serendipity, but sharing failures makes SEO testing become a more streamlined process.

Because Google algorithms are a fickle bunch, sometimes your test research brings you a breakthrough that enhances and simplifies the way you alter SEO content. On the other hand, there are times when SEO tests produce dismal results.

Most of us know the frustration of searching for specifics and finding irrelevant search results, but since this data has been made public, the problem has been clearly identified. Without sharing this failure, we may never have known.

Naturally, very few people are comfortable with failure. When testing doesn’t produce a favorable outcome, we simply give it another go until we get it right.

We do it this way because it feels good to share our successes. No one really likes to talk about failures, much less share them openly. But when we only know the good results, we don’t get full knowledge about the latest search engine trends.

It’s not about public shaming or spreading negativity. Instead, it’s about learning from mistakes and knowing what steps to eliminate the next time you strive to create better optimized content.

Keywords make our world go 'round.

In fact, without sharing failures, we would have never known that search engine spiders won’t find internal web pages on pull-down navigation boxes, or that splash homepages with little text content receive meager page rankings.

Maybe the search engine problem Fortune 500 companies have experienced hasn’t been fixed, because enough sales have been made. But the fact remains that by and large small businesses fare much better in the world of SEO and specified search results.

If this trend continues, who knows what will happen to the world of e-commerce. I would love to hear your ideas. Share your less-than-stellar research findings (and other thoughts) in the comments below.

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