Over the years, there has been one simple question that SEO experts have asked over and over again: Does query volume affect SEO in the slightest?
Many SEO experts insist that it does, but there has been very little empirical evidence – until now. Make no mistake, if query volume really does affect SEO then it is going to be a huge change to the commonly accepted SEO practices – but as you’re about to find out, there is still quite a bit of controversy surrounding this one simple question.
Official Stance of Google
As much as SEO experts have constantly insisted that query volume does affect SEO – Google has consistently denied it.
It is worth noting that Google is outstandingly open about some of the other factors that affect SEO – such as keywords, backlinks, and even their most recent Panda updates. But when it comes to query volume, Google just denies that it has any affect and is tight lipped otherwise.
Considering this official stance of Google though, why is it that SEO experts think otherwise?
Experimentation with Query Volume
Several SEO experts have carried out tests on exactly what query volume can do for search engine rankings.
One test in particular goes something like this:
- A website is built with a certain specific title (not one that would be commonly searched for)
- Lots of searches for that specific title are generated
- The rankings of the website for searches of the specific title and other connected terms are examined
In short, a website such as ‘Michael Darwin Peanut Bread Onion’ is created and through various means numerous search queries for that specific term are generated. Then the rankings for the website are inspected, and what is found is that the website not only ranks well on the specific term, but also on all other connected terms such as ‘Michael Darwin’, ‘Darwin Peanut’ and so on.
This suggests that there is a relationship between the query volume and the actual ranking. The very fact that a new website with little to speak of in terms of backlinks or anything else of worth to SEO can rank well on search engine terms connected to it (and even hit the top spot in some cases) speaks volumes.
It is worth remembering though that these are all independent tests that are (as yet) unverified.
Make no mistake, it will be quite some time before any solid results can be demonstrated, but for now it is worth keeping in mind that things may not be as straightforward as you imagine when it comes to SEO!
Who knows, there might even be a ton of other factors affecting search engine rankings!