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Table of Contents

Introduction

Welcome to LinkLoomer’s SEO Deep Dive, where we cut through the clutter to dive straight into the world of “WordPress SEO.” Our mission is clear: to provide you with a thorough analysis backed by data, devoid of embellishments or unnecessary complexities.

In this deep dive, we cut through the complexity and focus on what matters most. We bring you actionable insights grounded in evidence. From keyword strategies to the technical aspects of SEO, we leave no stone unturned.

Our commitment is to provide you with practical guidance that you can put into action immediately. Whether you’re aiming to improve your search engine rankings, boost organic traffic, or navigate the ever-evolving world of SEO, our analysis is your trusted resource.

Purpose of the analysis

In this deep dive, we provide a data-driven analysis of WordPress SEO, focusing on actionable insights. Our goal is to offer practical guidance for improving search engine rankings, organic traffic, and overall SEO performance.

Below is a detailed breakdown of 16 domains (top 16 search results of google) of the term “WordPress SEO”, highlighting their unique metrics and digital footprint.

SERP position Domain Metric highlight
#1

Boasting maximum domain and page authority among the list.

#2

An expansive word count reveals in-depth SEO guidance.

#3

The importance weight of domain name without keywords,

#4

Well-rounded metrics indicate a versatile SEO platform.

#5

Lots of content and high DA / PA going strong for Yoast SEO.

#6

Dominating with thin content but a finely-tuned architectur.

#7

High performance score coupled with vast Facebook followers.

#8

A perfect performance score with comprehensive content.

#9

Offers the most extensive content among the list.

#10

Leads with the highest occurrence of the term "SEO".

#11

Offers the fastest page speed, ensuring rapid content delivery.

#12

Impressive trust flow signals reliability and credibility [Jump to Analysis ↘️]

#13

High level of social engagement.

#14

Dominating with thin content but a finely-tuned architectur.

#15

Almost flawless performance score.

#16

Strong presence across multiple metrics.

This comprehensive analysis will dissect the intricacies of SEO, covering metrics from tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and Majestic. We’ll also explore the influence of root domain authority and contrast it against the impact of referring pages for the exact URL ranking for the keyword “WordPress SEO”. Our aim is to understand the strategies, spot anomalies, and derive actionable insights.

Let’s begin with page speed.

Page speed

The Importance of Page Speed

Page speed and user experience:

Page speed isn’t just about ticking a box for search engines—it directly affects user experience. When users encounter slow-loading pages, they’re more likely to bounce, leading to potential lost conversions and decreased engagement.

Historical advantage for faster websites:

It’s been observed that faster-loading websites typically secure higher positions in Google’s search results. This isn’t just a coincidence. Speedier sites enhance user experience, which Google highly values.

Google’s evaluation techniques:

Over the years, Google has fine-tuned its methods for evaluating page speed. They utilize Core Web Vitals metrics and their own PageSpeed Insights to gauge a site’s performance. Both of these tools provide insights into how well a webpage performs in real-world conditions.

Google has consistently evolved its ranking criteria. Since 2010, website speed has been a consideration for ranking. By 2018, this criterion was extended to mobile search results, reflecting the surge in mobile internet usage.

As of April 2023, Google made a significant decision to remove “page experience” from its ranking systems page. This decision sent ripples throughout the SEO community. However, Google was quick to clarify that while the “page experience” metric was removed, page speed’s importance remained undiminished.

The balance of speed and relevance:

It’s essential to note that speed should never eclipse the relevance of content. While a fast-loading page can improve rankings, if the content isn’t pertinent to the user’s query, it won’t retain or convert visitors.

The primacy of content relevance:

While metrics like page speed are essential, they can’t overshadow content relevance, which remains a paramount ranking factor. Depending on the query and competition, the impact of page speed may vary. This underlines the significance of ensuring content quality remains top-notch.

To wrap it up, while page speed is undeniably a critical ranking factor, it’s equally vital to ensure that content is high-quality and relevant to users’ queries. An effective SEO strategy balances both aspects to achieve optimal results.

Page speed and performance data

Page speed & page performance

Here's a breakdown of each websites page speed & page performance.
Toggle the filter below to dive into page load time vs. performance score.

Findings from the page speed & performance data

Page Speed vs. Performance Score:

Our data analysis reveals an interesting observation: there’s no discernible correlation between page speed and the performance score. While the performance score is based on the need to optimize specific site elements for better results (as outlined in the mangools report), it doesn’t seem to have a direct relationship with how fast the page loads.

Deciphering the Role of Page Speed in Rankings:

From the data, it’s evident that while page speed plays a role in ranking, it’s not the defining metric, especially for a highly competitive keyword like “wordpress seo”. Several metrics come into play, making it a multifaceted game where no single metric can guarantee a top spot.

Advice for Upcoming Websites:

Despite these findings, it’s crucial not to neglect page speed. For new websites looking to make a mark on the SERP for specific fresh keywords, page load speed can play a more dominant role. As these sites might not have the luxury of backlinks, domain authority, or expansive content yet, a swift-loading site can provide them an edge. Thus, adhering to guidelines to boost performance remains a sound strategy.

Domain and page authority

Domain and Page Authority

Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA). These metrics offer insights into a website’s potential to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Here, we’ll unpack the primary factors contributing to both PA and DA.

Page Authority (PA) Factors:

  • Inbound Link Quality and Relevance: High-quality, relevant inbound links from authoritative websites significantly boost Page Authority, signaling trustworthiness to search engines.

  • On-Page Optimization: Properly optimized title tags, meta descriptions, and content not only improve user experience but also enhance search engine visibility, further contributing to Page Authority.

  • Competition: It’s important to acknowledge that the competitive landscape within your niche can influence your rankings, regardless of how high your Page Authority might be.

Domain Authority (DA) Factors:

  • Overall Inbound Link Quality: The total number and quality of inbound links pointing to your domain play a critical role in determining your Domain Authority.

  • Content Relevance: It’s essential to consistently produce content that aligns with the interests of your target audience and is pertinent to your targeted keywords, thereby supporting your Domain Authority.

  • Website Age and History: Domains with a longer tenure on the web tend to command higher Domain Authority scores due to their established presence.

  • Overall Website Quality: Beyond just content, other elements like site speed, user experience, and technical robustness impact your Domain Authority.

  • Link Profile Diversity: Cultivating a diverse link profile from various reputable sources bolsters Domain Authority.

In the broader picture of SEO, both Page Authority and Domain Authority are pivotal metrics. Yet, they’re components of a larger ecosystem. To truly shine on search engines, one must take a comprehensive approach, prioritizing these metrics while ceaselessly enhancing the overall quality and relevance of the website.

Domain and page authority data

Domain and page authority (main domain)

Here's the chart of the domain and page authority of the main domain

The chart presented showcases the Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) scores for the main domain (root domain) of each website, not the specific page URL. These scores reflect the overall credibility and trustworthiness of the domain as a whole. The individual page URL metrics will be discussed and displayed in a subsequent section below.

Disregarded DR ahrefs metrics

Despite being frequently cited in the SEO world, I have excluded the ahrefs Domain Rank (DR) from our analysis for the root domain. The rationale? Upon examination, the Domain Rank metric for the SERP results for this keyword were almost uniformly high (well above 80) across all domains, even beyond the top 50 search results. Thus, this metric didn’t offer unique or particularly actionable insights in this context.

Ahrefs metric viewing recommendation

While the chart aggregates three metrics: Page UR, Referring Pages (exact URL), and Referring Domains (exact URL), it’s recommended for viewers to toggle individual filters on and off for clarity. By isolating each metric, you can delve deeper into the specifics, gaining a clearer understanding of the data landscape.

Reffering pages and domains

MOZ metric data for "WordPress SEO" exact URL data

The chart presented represents data from ahrefs, (exact URL reffering pages and domains) focusing on specific metrics that can provide insight into the search performance of domains for the keyword "WordPress SEO".

Key Observations ahrefs metrics data for “WordPress SEO”:

  • Forbes’ Anomaly: One notable outlier is Forbes. Its high Page UR, likely attributed to its vast indexed pages (over 15 million in Google) and its high DA, doesn’t seem to grant it a corresponding high SERP position. The possible explanation? Forbes doesn’t specialize in SEO topics. Thus, Google might be prioritizing domains that consistently produce SEO-centric content, a trend we find favorable.

  • Referring Pages (RP): Ahrefs defines this as the number of unique web pages linking to the target. Interestingly, the top three SERP positions correspond to the top three performers in this metric. However, there are exceptions, like Rankmath. Despite its strong RP stats suggesting a potential 4th place, it’s ranked 10th. Similarly, Forbes, statistically positioned at 5th based solely on this metric, sits at 16th.

  • Referring Domains: This metric reveals the count of distinct domains linking to each website’s specific URL. Observations largely mirror the findings in Referring Pages. An exception is wpbeginner.com, which, despite having 50,600 backlinks, received them from only 1,100 unique domains.

The Curious Case of Forbes and Broad Content Strategies

It’s intriguing to spot Forbes among the top results for “WordPress SEO“, especially considering that it’s not an exclusive SEO-focused domain. Landing on the 16th spot may seem distant from the coveted top 10, but achieving this position in such a competitive keyword landscape is noteworthy. This leads us to an interesting consideration about the breadth versus depth in content strategies. Forbes, with its vast array of topics, might find itself at a crossroad. While comprehensive coverage can attract a diverse audience, it could also dilute the perceived expertise in specialized fields like SEO. This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Forbes; even an information giant like Wikipedia, known for its exhaustive content, doesn’t make the list despite undoubtedly having a comprehensive SEO section. The underlying hypothesis? Google’s algorithm, in its pursuit of providing the most relevant and authoritative content to users, might prioritize domains that display consistent and deep expertise in specific niches. Broad content strategies, while valuable for general knowledge, might not be viewed as pioneering in specialized fields. If Forbes continues to drift from its core topics, it might risk its standing in SERP rankings for specific niches. This trend suggests that Google might be leaning towards rewarding consistent specialization over generalization.

The Influence of Niche Specialization in SEO

Google’s algorithm often favors domains with niche-focused content. This preference isn’t based on typical metrics like DA/PA but rather on the specificity of the content. Consider the online coffee market as an illustration:
  1. Broad-based Retailer: “CoffeeHouse.com” offers an array of coffee products and accessories.
  2. Niche Focus: “EspressoEnthusiast.com” specializes solely in espresso-related items.
  3. Hyper-Niche Specialization: “SingleOriginEspresso.com” exclusively targets single-origin espresso beans.
In Google’s search landscape:
  • “CoffeeHouse.com” might be recognized for its variety but doesn’t rank as highly due to its wide focus.
  • “EspressoEnthusiast.com” is likely to rank higher for espresso queries because of its niche strategy.
  • “SingleOriginEspresso.com” stands a strong chance of dominating specific searches on single-origin espresso.
In essence, specificity often outperforms breadth in SEO. If you build a business around a specific niche, Google is likely to favor your domain over broader competitors.

Trust flow and citation flow

Trust Flow and Citation Flow

  • Citation flow: This metric gauges both the quantity and quality of incoming backlinks to a website. Its emphasis is on the power or “equity” a link brings.

  • Trust flow: A more refined metric, Trust Flow evaluates the caliber of these backlinks. It zeroes in on the trustworthiness of the linking domains based on their credibility and authority in the web space.

  • Page authority: The page authority has been added here as a reference to CT and TF, also the PA displayed is exact URL. Not for the root domain.

PA, CF, TF metric data for "WordPress SEO" exact URL data

Trust Flow (TF), Citation Flow (CF), and Page Authority (PA) of each domain (exact URL)

Findings from the PA, TF and CF data (exact url)

High PA Yet Diverging CF and TF:

  • wordpress.org stands out with an impressive PA of 88. While its CF and TF are high at 53 and 56 respectively, it’s clear this domain has a balance between quantity and quality of backlinks.
  • Contrarily, wordpress.com has a PA of 69, but its CF and TF are considerably lower at 9 and 10. This suggests that while the page itself is authoritative, its backlinks may not be as robust or trustworthy.

Consistency Among Top Players:

Websites such as wpbeginner.com and searchenginejournal.com display a harmonious relationship between their CF and TF metrics. Their backlinks are both abundant and trustworthy, solidifying their positions in the top SERPs.

Disparities in Metrics:

Some domains like semrush.com and hostinger.com have noticeable differences between their CF and TF scores. This indicates a potential abundance of backlinks, but not all of them may be from trustworthy sources.

Emerging Players and Metrics:

rankmath.com stands out as an interesting case. Despite being newer in the domain game, it boasts a commendable CF of 48 and TF of 30. This shows their concentrated effort in garnering high-quality backlinks.

Varied Focus, Varied Scores:

It’s intriguing to observe forbes.com again. With a PA of 66, it demonstrates authority. However, its CF and TF at 29 and 17 suggest that while it has a decent backlink profile, it might lack in the trustworthiness department, perhaps due to its broader content focus.

The metrics reveal a deep interplay between the number and quality of backlinks a domain receives. While a higher CF points to a greater number of backlinks, a balanced TF indicates the credibility of these backlinks. Sites with a narrow, specialized focus often reap the benefits in both metrics, as their content specificity attracts quality backlinks. On the other hand, broader domains, despite their authority, may not always reflect high trustworthiness, emphasizing the need for a well-curated backlink strategy.

Wordcount

Wordcount per domain for query "WordPress SEO"

Sample chart description

Keywords used

On page keywords "seo", "wordpress" and "wordpress seo".

Click on the filters below to single out any data.

The Myth of “Content is King”

The long-standing proclamation: “Content is king.” Does content volume still wield the same power in influencing rankings? Here’s a deep dive into content;

The Case of Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Journal, a name that resonates with search optimization, ranks at position #7 with a concise 687 words. At a glance, this position does not necessarily bolster the “content is king” sentiment. But a deeper dive into their site unveils a broader strategy. Their main landing page isn’t just a standalone article; it serves as a gateway, partitioning the topic into 17 distinct chapters or smaller WordPress posts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Word Count: 687 words
  • Strategy: Topic divided into 17 chapters linked from a main page.
  • Implication: Topic relevance and site structuring might be as crucial as content volume.

Kinsta and Yoast: Context Over Volume

Kinsta, known in the hosting realm, presents a gargantuan 19,148 words and captures the #10 ranking. Contrasting Kinsta with SEO Yoast paints a clearer picture. While Kinsta’s content volume is commendable, its context isn’t as laser-focused on “WordPress SEO” as Yoast, a brand synonymous with WordPress optimization. Meanwhile, Yoast, the WordPress SEO maestro, not only makes its mark at #3 but cheekily also holds the fort at #1 through a WordPress.org link. Now, I don’t know about you, but hosting your plugin as “wordpress-seo” on WordPress.org? That’s some savvy SEO inception right there, Yoast. Hats off!

Key Takeaways:

  • Kinsta’s Word Count: 19,148 words
  • Yoast’s Dual Advantage: Stands at #3 but also has a presence at #1 via WordPress.org.
  • Implication: Context and brand association might hold more weight than pure content bulk.

The Anomaly of WordPress.com

Ranking at #5, the page at WordPress.com/support/seo is a conundrum. It garners mentions for “SEO” and “WordPress,” but oddly misses out on the term “WordPress SEO.” On face value, it doesn’t seem primed for that specific keyword. Yet, the might of their domain, paired with the “/seo” path, a respectable word count of 1,469, and a stellar Domain Authority (DA) of 94, pushes it to a commendable rank.

Key Takeaways:

  • Keyword Mentions: “SEO” (24), “WordPress” (28), “WordPress SEO” (0)
  • Domain Strength: DA 94 with “/seo” path
  • Implication: Domain authority and URL structuring could significantly impact ranking, sometimes even more than exact keyword optimization.
URLPage speedPerformance ScoreWordcountDomain AuthorityPage AuthorityCitation FlowTrust FlowReferring IPsFB FollowersFacebook sharesRéférencementWordPressWordPress SEOPage URReffering PagesReffering domainsPA (exact URL)Citation Flow (exact URL)Trust Flow (exact URL)Ref IP (exact URL)
https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/2,2394295699100879690670613708221949311784013477650020008853568468
https://www.wpbeginner.com/wordpress-seo/1,74614990836061661745741667557241311985436506001100604946391
https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/2,878910505847062642694624853494661921212831105002300614635616
https://wordpress.com/support/seo/1,718214699410071815006607507349408302428011144926991056
https://www.semrush.com/blog/wordpress-seo/1,335983668869656847767168367690819184161931815355341854
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/wordpress-seo/1,617368789656260374342092788389425292074120457504282
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/wordpress-seo2,58912506937377741044251229423245794776151345115360281463
https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/wordpress-seo-tips2,8310095467166603831645197548108191152144551984713959341852
https://kinsta.com/blog/seo-tips/1,995919148836661371828423794160321928052668920945421614
https://rankmath.com/wordpress/plugin/seo-suite/1,591009204496451308553742338003156142875001100564830582
https://aioseo.com/ultimate-wordpress-seo-guide/2,17923972475750344271284024310252281628016047301967
https://ahrefs.com/blog/wordpress-seo/0,98972660837463463797510438622967612931684420957361796
https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/wordpress/wordpress-seo1,48764452907069918543315663318229143103327271251232411
https://zapier.com/blog/best-wordpress-seo-plugins/2,1963297879726043305714387736293714749206004026131
https://themeisle.com/blog/essential-seo-settings-wordpress/1,5992820658061428283737092819249640111334357281420
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/wordpress-seo/1,94482316947978822526206965362670116673640550026666291757

Conclusion

In the vast landscape of SEO, multiple factors interplay to decide a webpage’s ranking, especially for competitive terms like “WordPress SEO”. Our detailed analysis revealed several intriguing insights, some expected and others that defy conventional wisdom.

  1. Page Speed & Performance: Notably, while page speed is a recognized factor affecting user experience and potentially SEO, its direct correlation with ranking isn’t linear. Sites like Yoast, which underperformed in speed, still held a dominant position. This indicates that while speed is crucial, it’s not the only ticket to the top.

  2. Domain and Page Authority: The heavyweights like WordPress.org showcased expectedly high DA and PA. However, newer entrants like RankMath and AIOSEO demonstrated that with the right strategies, even websites with lower DA/PA can compete. It emphasizes the importance of relevance and context in today’s SEO game.

  3. Referring Pages and Domains: The balance between the number of referring domains and the actual referring pages was pivotal. Sites like Forbes, with its broad content strategy, underlined that sheer volume doesn’t guarantee top ranking. Meanwhile, niche-focused sites, despite having fewer backlinks, made it to the top, underscoring the importance of quality and relevance over quantity.

  4. Trust Flow and Citation Flow: The data brought to the fore some disparities, but also a pattern. While top players exhibited consistent scores, emerging sites showed diverse metrics. This showcases that while traditional trust and citation metrics are important, they’re not the sole determinants.

  5. Keyword Density & Content: The myth “Content is King” was debunked. Sites like Search Engine Journal, with significantly less content, ranked effectively. It’s not just about quantity but quality, relevance, and context. Kinsta and Yoast further emphasized this with their context-over-volume approach. Anomalies like WordPress.com, with virtually negligible keyword usage, yet holding a ranking, emphasize the power of domain authority and user trust.

  6. Interplay of Tools: Relying on a single tool or metric could be misleading. By analyzing data from Ahrefs, Moz, and Majestic, it became evident that an integrated approach, looking at various metrics in conjunction, yields the most accurate SEO insights.

Final Takeaway: The SEO landscape isn’t purely black and white. It operates on a spectrum where relevance, quality, and context are paramount. Traditional metrics like speed, DA, PA, and backlinks continue to hold importance. However, their value is often weighed against the relevance of content and the intent behind user searches. This analysis underscores a pivotal message for digital marketers: while data-driven insights are vital, interpreting them in the context of user experience and content relevance is crucial for enduring SEO success.

How LinkLoomer solves modern SEO problems

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