Research The most common SEO errors

Research: the most common SEO errors – Search Engine Watch

Now, after reading the title, you can think: “What new can I read here? I see similar articles on different blogs at least every month ”. I can certainly say that you will certainly like this message.

My article has been developed based on unique research.

Every SEO specialist checks a site with the help of an SEO service. I work on one of the most popular all-in-one SEO platforms – Serpstat. Every year our team analyzes the audit results of our users to determine which SEO errors are really the most common.

In this article I will shed light on the results we have achieved in the past year.

Serpstat research: results we have achieved

In 2018, our users performed 204K audits and checked 223 million pages via Serpstat. Our team has analyzed this data and collected the stat.

All statistics that you can see on the infographics below the text. I just want to specify here a few facts in words.

After the investigation, we discovered that most sites had problems with meta tags, tags, and links. The most common errors relate to headings, HTTPS certificate and redirects. Problems with hreflang, multimedia, content, indexing, HTTP status codes, AMP (accelerated mobile pages & # 39; s) and loading time were the least likely.

We also analyzed country-specific domains to get more precise information. The stat that we got from this shows that 70% of the ".com" domains have the most common problems with links, loading time and indexing. The same situation is with the domains ".uk" and ".ca".

The most common mistakes and how to correct them

1. Meta tags

Meta tags are fairly important, despite the fact that they are not visible to website users. They tell search engines what the page is about and participate in creating excerpts. Meta tags influence your website ranking. Errors that can occur with this can spoil user signals.

According to our research, you must first check the length of the title and the description yourself.

2. Links, markers and headers

External links (their number and quality) influence the position of your site in SERP, because search engines assess link profiles very carefully. Also consider internal link factors (nofollow attributes and URL optimization).

The Serpstat team also discovered that bugs with markers and headers are quite popular, despite the fact that they are very important for websites. Markers and headers contain attributes that mark and structure the data of the page. They also help crawl search engines and networks and display the site correctly.

The most common errors in this chapter are:

  • Nofollow external link attributes
  • Missing Twitter map markers
  • H1 doubling of the title tag

3. HTTPS certificate

This certificate is one of the important ranking factors because it ensures a secure connection to the website and the browser. If your website uses personal information, don't forget to pay attention to this.

The most common error here is the reference from HTTPS website to HTTP website.

4. Diversions, hreflang feature, multimedia

Seduces direct users from the requested URL to another that you need. According to our statistics you have to avoid the most common error with it. With a multilingual interface, it is necessary to apply the hreflang feature for the same content in different languages. In this way, search engines can understand which version of your texts users prefer.

Multimedia elements have no direct influence on SEO. Although they can cause bad user signals and indexing errors. Images also influence the loading time of the website. That is why multimedia is fairly important. And here is the same situation with the hreflang feature – if you have the multilingual interface, you must apply it for the same content in multiple languages.

You can find more information about errors in this section on the infographics.

5. Indexing

Search engines discover what sites are about during indexing. If the site is closed for indexing, users cannot find it in the SERP. Some weak spots of the site that often lead to errors are the following:

  • Canonical tags that refer to another page
  • Non-indexed pages & # 39; s (noindex)
  • iframe tags

6. HTTP status codes, AMP and content

Replies that the server provides at the user's request are called HTTP status codes. Errors with this are quite serious problems and have a negative influence on the position of the site in SERP & # 39; s.

AMP is accelerated pages that are optimized for mobile devices. Use such technologies to improve site loading time. Bad content also causes the deterioration of ranking positions.

The most common problems here are:

  • 404 error codes
  • AMP is missing
  • Generated content

7. Charging time

Long loading time may degrade the usability of the site and waste the crawl budget. The Serpstat team discovered that the most common problems with this problem are the use of browser cache, images, JavaScript and CSS optimization.

infographic SEO error investigation

Source: Serpstat

How to correct these errors

To find all of the above errors for your own site, you can start a modified project with Serpstat Audit tool. Here you can view the entire site or even an individual page. The module checks 20 pages & # 39; s per second and finds more than 50 errors that may be harmful to your site.

In its reports, Serpstat sorts errors by importance and categories and lists the pages on which these problems were found. Moreover, it offers recommendations for solving a specific problem. Some of them are not errors in the true sense of the word ("information"), they are only shown so that you are aware of such problems.


There are many errors that can damage your site and its rankings. Despite this fact, you can find them all at once with the help of control tools.

Note the most common weaknesses in the beginning:

  • Meta tags
  • markups
  • Left
  • headings
  • HTTPS certificate
  • redirects
  • Hreflang feature
  • multimedia
  • Indexing
  • HTTP status codes
  • AMP
  • Load time
  • Content

Inna Yatsyna is a specialist for brand and community development at Serpstat. She can be found on Twitter .

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