There is a page that is similar to the one you were previously on.

If you came here from another page, view the test page regarding title and h1 header tags.

I stumbled across the other page and noticed that it had a published date from several years ago. The published date was from early 2015. The content was relevant to today’s SEO best practices. This post also ranked first in the search results with no competing PPC ads. While there were results in the millions, the first page was a good candidate to do an SEO ranking factor experiment.

search results number screenshott

SEO Ranking Factors Test

While it is not a huge ranking factor, I am curious to know how a published date will affect page rank. Since the other page’s content is still current, content accuracy will not be calculated.

The first objective is to get the test post crawled by the spiders and record the time period for future use.

Then,

About the first 20 search results

Before I started, I did a quick visual test at the results, comparing the meta descriptions, published dates if available, URL and title.

Among the first twenty results, the pages shown had:

  • Varying published dates. The oldest date was 2011  and youngest in the first position was dated from 2015. The published date is over two years old, making it a good candidate for comparison.
  • URLs had various structures. Some were example.com/3/5/2011 for example, using the post’s published date. Others used stop words in the URL and others did not have all of the addresses visible.
Page Position URL Structure Published Date Domain Age
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Pages’ Overall Similarities

First Position Post Test Post
624 total words total words
Post not page Post not page
Some grammatical errors Matched the same type of errors
Page built with WordPress Page built with WordPress
Similar keywords Matched keywords

Differences Between Pages for the Test

First Position Post Test Post
No images 2 images with keywords in image title and alt text
Longer Domain Age Very short Domain Age (Published on 5/2017)
10+ comments 0 comments (so far)
1 – H1 and 4- H2 Headings Also used H3 headers instead of bolding
Higher Domain Authority Lower domain authority
URL structure: abc.com/2/18/2015/keywords only URL structure: abc.com/keywords only