March Update to Search Engine Optimization Test

As reported in earlier posts (launch post, first update and second update) we’re running a test comparing the search engine optimization capabilites of Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.  We created three sites, (WordPress) (Drupal) and (Joomla). Each website was created with a similar amount of content, similar Overture results and a similar domain name.

Within two weeks the WordPress site was so far ahead that it looked as if they competition was over. Slowly however, Drupal and Joomla have recovered until they now lead the pack. The Joomla site now has 5 top ten rankings in every search engine that we’re following and the Drupal site continues to climb, only in second place by a small amount.

{moschart id=13}


OK, Cool…But what does this mean in the real world? has a post discussing how irregular updates may be more damaging to your search engine ranking than never posting at all. By looking at Google’s Patent Application, he summises that Google makes a decision about your site….

  • Is it a blog? If so, we’ll expect it to be updated regularly
  • Is it a corporate website? If so, we can expect it to remain relatively unchanged

Basically, Google is asking you to decide what kind of site you want to be and then to walk the walk. If run a blog that used to be updated every day, but now hasn’t seen fresh content two months, why should Google rank you? Why should searchers have to wade through months-old blog posts?

What is the one of the easiest ways Google can determine what kind of site you’re running? Your software. If you install a WordPress site you are telling Google that you’re starting a blog and that it will be updated regularly. If you install Joomla or Drupal, Google has no such expectations. Maybe that is why WordPress started so strongly, but has since fallen behind. If you don’t meet expectations, you will be penalised.


Where next for our SEO tests?

We’d like to pick your brains. This time next month, we’re going to launch another SEO test to run alongside this one.

Hopefully this new test will be bigger, better and more accurate. How should we do this? We’re interested in testing the SEO capabilities of Open Source websites. How can we improve on this first small-scale test?

  • Should we add an HTML site for comparison purposes (a control sample) ?
  • Should we build sites focusing on a more competitive topic or less?
  • Are there errors in this current test that we need to corrrect?

All opinions welcome….

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