TechSEO Boost 2019: Research Competition OverviewFebruary 14, 2020
The TechSEO Boost Research Competition returned for 2019 to deliver new and highly impressive SEO thought-leadership.
Why Industry Research Matters
The TechSEO Boost Research Competition is an effort to stimulate and fund pro-active learnings within the SEO industry. We believe that where we came from is just as important as where we are. That means going back to the basics. It means re-examining why SEO is crucial to advancing in the industry. The research competition is an opportunity to learn and grow in a collaborative environment while continuing to support emerging thought leadership.
The TechSEO Boost judges were very impressed by all of the incredibly forward thinking entries receive. The judges scored each of the entries, resulting in three finalists who presented at the 2019 event.
Eric Enge, Perficient Digital: Data on How Search Features Impact CTR
Eric Enge conducted a concise study that monitored a total of 2 million search queries and appropriately tracked how various rankings and features were utilized over a period of 30 days. Both SERP ranking data and Clickstream Data were evaluated to see how they influenced CTR, allowing them to make explicit connections between specific search features and CTR (carousels, featured snippets, etc). Within the study, 400,000 keywords were broken up across five categories: Finance, Beauty, Travel, Retail, and Auto
Enge also shared a few key statistics to keep in mind as part of the research:
- Organic Search accounts for 61.96% of searches on desktop and only 40.90% on mobile
- It is 13.4x more likely to get an organic click on desktop and 9.1x more likely on mobile
- CTR ranks substantially higher on branded queries (70%+) over non-branded queries (38%) in position 1
This data itself addresses common allocation habits across organic and paid strategies. How can this data help us optimize funding gaps?
As seen above, Enge’s research was able to whittle down the popularity of various search features according to their CTR. Here were some of his top findings:
- Among the top were Related Searches, People Also Ask, Video Carousels, and Knowledge Graphs.
- There is a marginally larger CTR for non-branded searches when there’s a Featured Snippet included compared to CTR across branded searches.
- Another interesting finding is that it seems that Google and users dislike the Related Searches function. However, Google neglects the feature unless the CTR is low. Google can judge that users are getting correct information without the feature.
See Enge’s full research project here.
- H&M (4.56% of pages not indexed)
- Sephora (55% of pages not indexed)
- Medium (50% of pages not indexed)
See Rudzki’s full study here.
Vincent Terrasi, Oncrawl: Generating Qualitative Content in All Languages
Vincent Terrasi began his research project with two objectives in mind:
1) Use only qualitative methods to improve the quality of content created by humans
2) Extract the knowledge learned by the Deep Learning
Terrasi used three platforms, Project Gutenberg (a database of free e-books), PyTorch (a Python learning framework), and GPT-2. As a result of training the model, this API pylanguage tool was used to confirm the validity of the text without error. These results were also checked by a native reader for each language. The tool works for any length of text and checks grammatical correctness. Here are some of the specs about the research and how its success was measured:
See the tool at: https://github.com/Findus23/pyLanguagetool
Find Terrasi’s full research presentation here.
Closing Remarks – What’s Next?
Overall, we are very thankful for all the intriguing submissions this year. Along with our expert judges, this kind of competition and peer learning is what will move the industry forward.
The final three contestants were placed in the following order:
- 1st place: Tomek Rudzki
- 2nd place: Vincent Terrasi
- 3rd place: Eric Enge
We want to give a very special thank you to the folks at iPullRank, Mike King, and all the worthy contestants.
Keep checking in on our blog for more TechSEO Boost news and industry updates! You can also watch the research competition video (and all of the other TechSEO Boost session videos) here on our site. All TechSEO Boost session slides, including the research slides, are available on our SlideShare.
Thank you to this year’s judges:
- Michael King (@iPullRank)
- Russ Jones (@rjonesx)
- Clark Boyd (@ClarkBoyd)
- Alexis Sanders (@AlexisKSanders)
- Aleyda Solis (@aleyda)
- Dan Taylor (@TaylorDanRW)
- Rhea Drysdale (@Rhea)
- Geoff Kenyon (@geoffkenyon)
- Paul Shapiro (@fighto)
- David Iwanow (@davidiwanow)
Check out the TechSEO Boost research competition recording below and get all of the recordings from the event here.