Thoughts from the SearchPilot team

Getting started

A lot of our writing is based on lessons learned running SEO tests. If you're new here, you might want to read more about how SEO A/B testing works before you get started.

We also publish a lot of SEO A/B testing case studies that you can opt to receive by email every other week if you wish.

Predicting the decline of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) were controversial from the outset. Over time, many of the architectural issues were resolved, and the platform that remained, while still closely tied to Google, did less to encourage the most egregiously intimate integrations, but I have to admit to being happy to be able to predict the end of standalone AMP versions sitting alongside regular web pages.

Will Critchlow

5 min read

SEO is not zero sum

I have regularly heard people say that SEO is zero sum and it seems that almost half the industry thinks that’s true. What I believe people mean by it in an SEO context is that every time you move up in rankings for a particular search phrase, other websites necessarily must move down to make space for you.

This is intuitive, but I believe it’s wrong.

Will Critchlow

6 min read

How to tell good SEO advice from bad

The quality of SEO advice really matters in the real world, because steps back in performance are at the root of a lot of underperforming SEO initiatives and as SEO gets harder it also gets more confusing, and harder to tell the good from the bad. In this post I share my “surprisinginess / riskiness” framework for evaluating what to do with different kinds of SEO advice.

Will Critchlow

6 min read

How to test internal links for SEO

Someone born in the year I started Distilled would be learning to drive in the next year, and I still don’t really understand internal linking. I don’t think I’m alone. So we need to test! The big difference between regular on-page tests and internal linking tests is that the hypothesis can be about effects on the page where you are making the change (the “source” of the link) and on the pages receiving the new links (the “destination” of the links).

Will Critchlow

6 min read

Does Google rewriting titles prevent us from testing them for SEO impact?

Title tag testing still works even with Google rewriting many page titles for display in the search results. Since the majority of titles are not substantially rewritten, and title tag changes are among our most consistently detected and largest impact tests, it would be worth continuing to run title tag experiments even at much higher levels of rewriting than we see in the wild today.

Will Critchlow

5 min read

Edge SEO and SEO testing on the edge

SEO at the edge means any SEO changes that are made after the HTML is created by your CMS or origin server before it is served to the user. These changes are made closer to the user by modifying the HTML on the way “through” a CDN-like layer.

The biggest benefit is that you aren’t constrained in the changes you can make. Between engineering resource constraints, and technical limitations of some web platforms, there are certain kinds of changes that can be difficult, prohibitively expensive, or even impossible to make via a CMS or origin code change. Many of these changes are quick and easy to make by modifying the HTML output at the edge.

Will Critchlow

11 min read

What marketing leadership needs to know about modern SEO

I know a lot of folks who started out in SEO, and are now in marketing leadership positions.

One challenge, when this happens, is that it’s hard to stay plugged in to SEO news, but you still have oversight of the SEO channel.

Does this sound like you? Here’s what you need to know:

Will Critchlow

5 min read

Video - Imagining an Apple search engine

I recently gave a talk exploring what an Apple search engine will look like, how it will work, and what it means for marketers. Watch the full video.

Tom Anthony

1 min read

SEO is Hard

We have now been publishing SEO A/B test results for some time and for each one, we have polled our audience to get them to say whether the specific changes in question were a good idea or not. For the average case study, only 35% of poll respondents get it right.

Will Critchlow

9 min read

Is the future of SEO just CRO?

I’m often asked to contribute to articles predicting the future of SEO. Over the years I’ve predicted all kinds of things, but I’ve recently come to realise that I can summarise all the trends by saying that the future of SEO looks more like CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation).

Will Critchlow

7 min read

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