The dichotomy of today’s sites is that they are easier to make, but they are also more complicated and prone to issues and errors that can affect search visibility. Even if you’re someone who has been creating websites for decades (like myself), the likelihood of making some optimization mistakes is still very high.
Since making mistakes is unavoidable, we created an automated Site Auditor to help SEOs quickly identify and fix problems. Our Site Auditor launched in 2013, and since then we have collected a lot of data – 200 million pages and over 4 billion issues. We thought it would be interesting and useful to anonymously analyze where we’re all falling short.
The results ended up being eye opening.
Image optimization is the most widespread on-page SEO issue today.
There were more image issues than all other types of issues combined. Learn what images lack.
Google has an analytics tracking monopoly.
83% of pages had Google Analytics installed. Cope in a Google-dominated world.
Duplicate content remains at large.
29% of pages had duplicate content. Act on this missed opportunity.
In this report, we include our key findings, along with a detailed analysis of each finding. Our hope is that we can all start focusing more on the common issues when creating sites, so they can become less common.
Update About Image Titles: 10/15/2015
A few people have dismissed the image title attribute as not having any influence on SEO. However, Google does consider both the title attribute and caption when analyzing an image. They clearly state this in their Search Console Image Publishing Guidelines:
Provide good context for your image
The page the image is on, and the content around the image (including any captions or image titles), provide search engines with important information about the subject matter of your image. For example, if you have a picture of a polar bear on a page about home-grown tomatoes, you’ll be sending a confused message to the search engines about the subject matter of polarbear.jpg.
Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to make sure that images are placed near the relevant text. In addition, we recommend providing good, descriptive titles and captions for your images.