In the most recent talking circuit, Ted Kubaitis showed some very interesting findings concerning meta descriptions. In particular, he showed where and what was displayed in the SERPs from when meta description was changed. The changes varied the number of match words or keyword variations that were displayed. That was the only change on the page and rank was affected.
2018 has been the year of “what’s old is new again.” Based on Ted’s extraordinary finding, we wanted to see if we could get a page to index based on keywords in the meta description and in the meta keywords.
This test idea comes from what Ted has been talking about at Rockstars and he has also been talking about for the last couple of conferences that he has spoken at, he found that there was a scenario as he was watching serps move that was being tracked by Cora, he found that there was a particular result where the metadescription or really what was displayed in the serps kept changing. It would be one thing one time and something else the other time. Different keywords, and it moved rank. So the only thing changing on this page is essentially its metadescription. It is not the true metadescription because it is not necessarily what the site put in, its what Google is pulling out either from the metadescription or content on the page but that is shifting it, that is apparently a factor – what Google is displaying and traditionally, that is what your metadescription is. Kind of getting into the what is old is new, Ted is seeing that phenomenon happen. So what I want to see is can you actually index a page now with keywords in the metadescriptions and in the metakeywords cause the traditional idea is that, if you talk to a hundred SEOs, 99 of them not named Ted Kubaitis would tell you that the metadescription isn’t a factor. I want to see if maybe we can index a page now with keywords in these two locations.
I can tell you, there is no reason for any suspense, it didn’t work. So, this is what it looked like using SimpleSEO to get those keywords there and that is what it looked like and putting it there into the metakeywords into the code that way, neither of them would index. We could not index that way. So then I got thinking what Ted found a little bit. As I mentioned, it wasn’t necessarily the metadescription that was being displayed, it was Google grabbing content either from the page or kind of piecing together parts of the metadescription. What I realized is, since that is clearly a factor, that impacted rank, the site did move, that is actually then a factor that Google completely controls. It is a factor that Google is using that is controlled by its own algorithm which is pretty trippy. The idea that Google can grab different content on a page, put it into its display area on the serps and that is going to impact rank, that means that the algorithm has its own factors that it controls.
I think maybe the bigger take away there is, if you have a page that Google is ignoring your metadescription, which happens from time to time. For a particular keyword, Google will ignore your meta and pull from the page. Do not let Google do that. What we found is if you are using content that is actually on your page and in the metadescription, you have a much better chance of Google not ignoring your meta. The other thing you can do too, where it often happens, let’s say your primary keyword is buy red bicycles, let’s say your page also ranks for buy red mountain bicycles but you didn’t have that in your metadescription because you were just talking about buy red bicycles, and then Google will grab something from your page and put it in. As we’ve learned from our tests, you can write a longer metadescription than the 300 or 150 characters, whatever it is that Google is displaying, you can write multiple metadescriptions and put them into your metadescription tag, and Google will pull from there. So the idea is, if you have a primary keywords and say some very close or very strong secondaries that is really important for Google to take your metadescription that you want, write longer metadescriptions that include those very close variations of your primary or really strong secondaries, those related searches. Just write bigger metadescriptions and I think that would stop Google from pulling content off your page. You control what Google is displaying and you don’t rinks this jump up and down on Google creating its own factor.
This test is about frequency and density of a keyword. It has been shown that the higher the density of a given keyword is taken into consideration when Google sorts pages.
It has also been mentioned that Word count contributed to be a driving factor in Google’s algorithm. There are studies showing the average word count of pages in the top 10, theories that the average will be taken into account. You would think that naturally, a longer piece of content would have more mentions of a keyword due to the length, but perhaps it would have a lower density.
This setup is a way to answering the question - Can a page with lower frequency but higher density outrank a page with higher frequency but lower density?
Jo believes to look at the following:
• Frequency of a keyword on a page
• Amount of words on a page
• Density of the keyword on the page
In this test, he tried to eliminate the word count as a factor. In contrast to tests where the word count remains the same and frequency is varied, resulting in the change in density, then will up the word count keeping the frequency the same, and so the density will lower.
If these pages outrank those lower, then word count would be the driving force.
If these pages rank lower, then we could attribute that to the density decreasing.
If the word count is not the driving factor, then we know that density is and we can then keep
that at a constant and start changing the frequency to see if that too, is a factor.
Clint: Test 643: "Keyword Density versus Keyword Frequency. So this test is done by Joe Priest. He gets really technical in his stuff and basically at the end of the day, what he's doing is your keyword density is typically a percentage of the keyword frequency is typically count.
They're both at the end of the day talking about how much you use your keyword in a piece of content but keyword frequency, they're not necessarily mean a higher density versus a higher density doesn't mean you use your keyword more, you know what I mean? So it just depends on word count.
You see the entire setup here is just set that out. And then results of the test right there. The length he says, isn't a factor, the test pages filled out due to control pages. So the pure word count, in the case of his test is not a ranking factor. And you can see the densities that he is using etc. here to kind of fire things off.
Dori, maybe you have some thoughts on this. If you are testing count and density, do you want to keep, because of how important density is. Do you want to try to get the count pages to meet the density number? So if you're going after 5%, and you want to do 10 words at 5% density, how would you go about setting up a test page in order to meet that? And I'm thinking that you'd have to actually go ahead and reduce the total word count to get the density right while keeping the frequency right.
Dori: That's a little mind Twister. I think I would have to think about that. But I don't know if you'd have to bring the word count down, if you were saying. Well, as long as it had the same number of words in each test. Like there's 1000 words. So the density could be 5% but there still a 1000 words.
Dori: It's probably how I would set it up.
Clint: I would think though, if you're doing that, you'd have a hard time testing word, keyword count or frequency because let's say you're testing 5 versus 10. The word count. Yeah, that's a good one. This is a tough test. I'm glad Joe tackled it.
Dori: So we're testing keyword frequency or?
Dori: The length of an article?
Clint: Can a Page with Lower Frequency but Higher Density Outrank a Higher Frequency but Lower Density Page?
Dori: He is so smart. Because even his title is a kind of like a mind twister. Keyword density versus keyword frequency. What's the difference?
Clint: As I said, density is the it's not necessarily the count. But let's say you have 10 keywords in 1000 word article, so your density would be that percentage. What percentage of your content was covered in that keyword?
Dori: 10 of 10th
Clint: Yeah. Versus the frequency, let's say I use 5 keywords in an article, but the article used less words, 500. My density would still be 10%. But my count is lower. My count is only 5. So it's kind of, it's almost a, is long form content. Can you win with long form content or short form content in a long form search result by maintaining the same keyword density that a long form piece has.
Dori: Okay, and what was the answer?
Clint: Let's see.
Dori: What are we supposed to do?
Clint: Yeah, let's see. 10 tests were set up, 7 pages had a word count of 2000 and the density of 3%. That was his control pages, the C's. 3 pages had a word count of 4000 with a density of 1.5%. Those are the tests, the T's and 3 pages had a word count of 1000 and a density of 6%, the S's. So looking at this.
Dori: It looks like the T's are lost.
Clint: Yeah, the short form content with a higher density actually beat out long form content with a lower density. But neither of them significantly beat the control page of 3%.
Dori: Right. It's kind of like minestrone soup.
Clint: Yeah. I think he sends me these charts on purpose to make it as complicated as possible.
Dori: I know. It works. I mean, it does. It is. I'm off and confused with Joe's test, but I just feel like his IQ is probably 50 points higher than mine.
Clint: I don't know that he's tested whether I mean, it could be. To me, this is almost the keyword density test, because these are bouncing back and forth as much as with each other. Right? And they are the higher density 6% versus 3%. So I don't know he did or explain frequency enough in here to make that. I mean, because he has a higher density. And he figured he had to use it more right?
I think this is more of a keyword density test than it is a frequency test. And I think because of how these look, to me, it just saying that, you can win with 3000 words at 2%. And write out your content and explain it a little bit better. Or you can use short form content, just check the density up higher and still win.
Dori: Which would be more ideal, I mean, obviously. So a 6% of 1000 is 6, right?
Clint: You're asking me to do math and that's Kimberly's job.
Dori: Anybody? Do I have to get my computer out? I don't even know if I can. 60? Come on, somebody on there needs to know how to do this.
Clint: Muhamad's in there. He's a math genius.
Dori: 0.06, I would think is 60. Okay. So 60, you'd have to have 60 keywords in that 1000 word article versus like a frequency would be. Wouldn't it be like, say you have 10. 6 keywords total in 1000 word article?
Dori: So it does appear to be more of a keyword density test instead of a frequency test. But you know, Joe could probably explain it. It might make total sense. Although it might still go to my head. I don't know.
Clint: I think this would probably have worked better if the keyword density on all the pages matched. They didn't care about the word count. But he's more concerned about density. So I would argue 2000 and 3%, 3% is the keyword density that he wanted to go after. That's what I think. All of his pages Should have a 3% density and that he should have manipulated the word count in order to get to that 3% density while monitoring the keyword usage in terms of frequency.
Dori: Wait a second here. I just did 2000 x 0.03 is 60. So I bet 4000.
Clint: I think you want to divide? I'm not sure.
Dori: Well, you got to do times. It should be a single variable test. There are too many variables he is testing for simultaneously. I agree, Viktoria.
Clint: So 6. What is 6% of 100?
Dori: I was wrong
Clint: You're right at first and then you got your calculator.
Dori: I times it by 0.06 and not just 0.6. That's kind of good at math. Not on the spot. I'm never good anything on the spot.
Clint: To me, this is a keyword density issue. He's got 1.5 on these pages. 1.5 keywords on here, which essentially is 1, and then he's got 6 on these. And then he's got 3 on these. So he tested keyword density. All right. To me, if you wanted to know if keyword frequency was doing it, he needed to go for 3% on all 3 of these pages, and then manipulate the word count so that he got to that 3%. And that would've done frequency.
Dori: I agree. God, you're making me think.
Clint: That's every time I read one of Joe's tests, I gotta try to figure out the good here. We need to just get Joe to start presenting some tests.
Dori: Yes, send a video or audio and he can explain them. We can we can just play it.
Clint: You were all smart. Did we miss something? Let's see what the rest of this is. So simply adding more words to a page without consideration to keyword density would likely harm correct. Rather than help that keyword.
Dori: Wait, I mean the 1,000 at 6% do well. The S's? There's a couple of S's did.
Clint: Because it's a keyword density thing. So the keyword density is 3 and 6. And it's bouncing between Google's bouncing picking between one or the other, which is kind of consistent with what we see with keyword density tests anyway.
Dori: Yeah. And so the 1.5 keyword density didn't do well at all.
Clint: You would expect that to disappear. To go away. To drop.
Dori: Yeah. So that's kind of a cool thing, 3 to 5% is a sweet spot?
Clint: I mean, yeah, if you're playing with a keyword density game, then you know, higher is kind of better, if all other things being equal, and we've got so many keyword density tests. I mean at some point that's kind of where it goes.
Dori: Yeah. And Viktoria said 6% of 100 is 6. So 6% of 1000 is 60. That's what I thought. I did do it right. My calculator was right. 1000 and gotta go times 0.06 equals 60
Clint: Gotta ask Google the right questions. They give you the wrong answer. See, this is why we have Viktoria.
Dori: I know. I don't care what Google's says.
Clint: All right. So that's that this keyword frequency, I think this is kind of consistent with what we're seeing, you can use higher keyword frequency and go up 6%. And still did it. I mean, most people would look at 6% and get all your writing crap. But at the end of the day, Google still rewarding it. 3% seems pretty consistent as well, too.
So I mean, if you want to write for 3 to 6%, and then see where you land, just hit that target. Just don't do 1.5% If you're competing with other people.
Dori: Right. John says the next test would be to keep the frequency constant and change the density.
Clint: Yeah, he's got a right here.
Dori: He probably meant Joe.
Clint: I think that's going to be kind of if he's changing the density, I think he kind of did the same thing here. I think he's gonna end up seeing similar results. He needs to redo this one to get any value out of this one, I would think.