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How to Use Negative SEO A/B Tests to Boost Your SEO KPIs

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

What does it mean to have Negative SEO A/B tests? Let's explore how to improve your on-page SEO to avoid negative effects on your website.


Generally, any SEO effort has quarterly and annual SEO goals. Markets use SEO key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure SEO goals.

Purpose Of Negative SEO A/B Test


The purpose of SEO A/B testing is to help you prevent a deduction in organic traffic from change in optimizations, implemented particularly on SEO Best practices -This allows the SEO and marketing team to achieve their KPIs and objectives.

The last thing a marketer wants is changes that negatively impact site traffic, making their KPIs and goals harder to achieve.

With the help of SEO A/B testing, you will be able to understand if your change in optimization has the potential to affect your organic traffic on your website.


Times When On-Page SEO Have a Negative Impact


It is pretty standard for different departments implementing website changes. As SEO in-charge, we don't have it in our hands to choose between good and bad optimization other than quoting SEO best practices.

Although SEO practices are a good starting point, they sometimes give you the desired result.

Then, how will you know the change you are going for will positively or negatively impact your website?

The truth is you never know without SEO A/B testing.

Following are some of the insights on your optimization that you will get from your SEO A/B testing :

  • Positive change

  • Negative change

  • Neutral change

Although we always look forward to positive changes, we should also be aware of negative changes. It will allow us to comprehend and not implement negative changes to our clicks from Google search results, click-through rate (CTR), Impressions in Google Search results, and average ranking of pages in Google search results.



What Is Meant by the Negative SEO A/B Split Test?


In SEO A/B testing, the pages are equitably split into ‘Control’ and ‘Variant’ groups. The variant groups with test changes are tested for 14 to 42 days. The test becomes relevant when it reaches 95% in our confidence level metrics. After the test is completed running, you have to check the variant group clicks - if it is below the control group, then the test result becomes negative. You will notice a negative effect size or percentage change in the number of clicks to the variant groups from Google search engines. It will be a negative effect size, which is the difference in clicks between the control and variant groups. You will also notice a decrease in additional clicks when you have a negative result.



Achieving Your SEO Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)


You can prevent the decline in organic traffic with the help of SEO A/B testing instead of solely relying on SEO Best practices. A split test helps the marketing department to deliver on the desired KPIs and Goals. A marketer never wants to negatively impact their site's traffic, hindering their KPIs and goals. It would be easier to understand the optimization changes and their potential negative effects on your organic traffic on your site with SEO A/B testing.



Implementing Google Search Console into your SEO KPIs

Have you considered incorporating Google Search Console (GSC) metrics into your SEO KPIs? You can determine whether your SEO optimizations produce positive or negative results by utilizing GSC metrics and conducting SEO split testing. This approach empowers you as an SEO professional to proactively address negative or neutral outcomes. You can modify your tests until you achieve a positive result and demonstrate the SEO ROI to your organization through SEO A/B split testing.

Some important Google Search console metrics include clicks, click-through rate (CTR), Impressions, and the average ranking of pages.



Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO


The primary purpose of SEO A/B testing is to avoid negative SEO affecting your website in the long run. As we know, negative SEO can pose a significant threat to your website ranking and overall online presence; thus, to safeguard your digital assets and maintain a healthy online presence, you can try out some of the following proactive and responsive strategies:


Proactive Strategies


Here are three key proactive measures you can take to prevent negative SEO attacks before they can inflict damage on your website's performance :


Regular Backlink Audit

Your first defense against negative SEO should be regularly auditing your backlink profile. Conducting a thorough backlink audit allows you to identify any unnatural or toxic links that might harm your site's reputation in search engines. It will help you remove low-quality or spammy backlinks, ensuring link quality and maintaining a healthy profile.


Security Protocols

Your website security is the most crucial factor to be considered to protect it against negative SEO attacks. You should implement robust protocols that protect your website from hacking and maintain SEO performance by preventing unauthorized changes. Some key security measures include regular soft software updates, strong password policies, firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), and SSL Encryption.


Monitoring tools

Monitoring is another essential proactive measure that helps detect any irregularities or suspicious activity that could signal a negative SEO attack. Some monitoring tools that will help you avoid potential threats are Google search console, SEO analytics tool, and an Alert system that will notify you of sudden drop in SEO performance or unusual website activities.


Responsive Strategies


Irrespective of your best efforts, some negative SEO effects are inevitable. In such cases, responsive strategies can help you minimize the impact of negative SEO.


Identify Negative SEO Changes

Recognizing negative SEO attacks is crucial. Indicators include sudden rank drops, unnatural backlinks, and content scraping.


Addressing Issue

Once you have identified a negative SEO attack, taking immediate action is the next crucial step you must take.

You can take the following responsive measures:


Disavowing Toxic Backlinks

You can inform search engines about harmful backlinks using Google's Disavow Tool.



Requesting Removal

You can contact webmasters to remove copied content or harmful backlinks.


Submitting Reconsideration Requests

In case of penalties, you can submit reconsideration requests to search engines.

By implementing a combination of proactive and responsive measures, you can effectively protect your website from negative SEO attacks and ensure the continued success of your SEO KPIs.



So far in this blog, we have explored the world of negative SEO A/B testing, revealing its transformative potential in boosting your SEO performance. We have also discussed a combination of proactive measures such as Regular Backlink Audit, Security Protocolos & Security Protocolos alongside responsive strategies to detect and address negative SEO outcomes. We also learned about incorporating Google search console metrics into your KPIs to proactively steer up your SEO strategies. You can have control over optimization changes with the help of SEO A/B split testing rather than solely relying on good SEO practices.



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