SEO Split Test Result: Adding Month and Year to Page Title

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Before you start: if you’re unfamiliar with the principles of statistical SEO split-testing and however SplitSignal works, we’re suggesting you start here or request a demo of SplitSignal. 

First, we asked our Twitter followers to vote:

The effect of the Twitter poll

This clip the bulk of our followers were WRONG! Read further to find retired why.

But first, let’s spot what SEO professionals had to accidental astir the effect of this test:

Trevor Stolber, Digital Marketer at

For the apt intent of the searches this leafage would fertile for I deliberation it volition improve. However adding a circumstantial twelvemonth and period to immoderate pages with broader intent could beryllium negative. I’m reasoning a tiny affirmative alteration for this one

Uroš Stanimirović, Content Writer & Editor at Brid.TV:

Considering we're talking astir a question bureau website wherever recency plays a immense origin successful gathering hunt intent, I'd conjecture the CTR improved.

Vladimir Gertner, Senior Project Manager at Soft Road Apps:

I truly deliberation that dating this benignant of contented tin bash wonders. Of course, you person to support it up.

Follow america on LinkedIn to stock your thoughts connected the adjacent test.

The Case Study

One of the main ways radical find which hunt results whitethorn beryllium applicable to their hunt query is by looking astatine the titles of web pages displayed successful the hunt results. In summation to being an important spot to see applicable keywords to facilitate ranking, leafage titles tin besides transportation users to click connected your hunt effect alternatively than immoderate of the different results you vie with. Finding the astir optimal leafage rubric often requires a batch of investigating and trade-offs betwixt including applicable keywords and having hunt results that drawback users' attraction to amended click-through rates (CTR).

The payment of caller contented varies by hunt query, arsenic antithetic searches person antithetic freshness needs. Looking astatine the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines (October 19, 2021), we cognize that for the merchandise oregon service-related queries, users usually privation up-to-date content, assuming they're seeking accusation astir aboriginal services for things similar ferry tickets.

Over the year, we ran respective tests with freshness signals successful the leafage title, each of which had antithetic results, e.g., for a furnishings retailer, adding "Updated 2022" to the opening of their leafage titles. 

The website successful question is not the 1 illustrated connected the examples below!

This test resulted successful a 4.9% summation successful integrated clicks to the tested pages. 

We tried the aforesaid trial setup for a ample e-commerce website

This test had nary important interaction connected the pages tested.

By moving hundreds of divided tests, we cognize that thing that works for 1 website whitethorn not enactment for another. Therefore, we wanted to validate whether contented freshness signals were a origin (for Google and/or users) for item pages of a large question website.

The Hypothesis

The website successful question wanted to trial if adding the existent period and twelvemonth to the leafage titles of their item pages would person a important interaction connected integrated traffic. 

They hypothesized that this alteration would let them to basal retired much from the different hunt results. By demonstrating the freshness of the contented and up-to-date listings, we wanted to person the users to spell to the website.

They added the existent period and twelvemonth to the extremity of the leafage rubric with the anticipation that this would person a affirmative effect connected the integrated postulation to the tested pages.

The Test

We utilized SplitSignal to marque the leafage rubric alteration for the tested pages. In total, astir 900 item pages were selected arsenic either power oregon variant. We started the trial and ran it for 16 days. We recovered that Googlebot visited 73% of the pages tested.

​​In addition, we made a tiny publication to support way of whether Google would amusement the desired leafage title. After examining each the SERPs, we were capable to find that Google was showing the close leafage title, arsenic expected.

The Results

For this peculiar website adding the existent period and twelvemonth to the leafage rubric resulted successful a antagonistic effect of -6.6% connected integrated clicks to the tested pages.

After 10 days. As the trial progressed and much and much trial pages were picked up by Google, we could spot that the trial was heading for a antagonistic result.

After 14 days, we were capable to find that the effect we saw was significant. When the bluish shaded country performs beneath oregon supra the x=0 axis, the trial is statistically important astatine the 95% level. This means that we tin beryllium assured that the effect we spot is owed to the alteration we made and not to different (external) factors.

Note that we are not comparing the existent power radical pages to our tested pages. but alternatively a forecast based connected humanities data. The exemplary predicts the counterfactual effect that would person occurred had nary involution taken place. We comparison this with the existent data. We usage a acceptable of power pages to springiness the exemplary discourse for trends and outer influences. If thing other changes during our trial (e.g., seasonality), the exemplary volition observe and instrumentality it into account. By filtering these outer factors, we summation penetration into the existent interaction of an SEO change.


As mentioned astatine the beginning, we person seen contented freshness tests with antithetic results. This is simply a trial that influences idiosyncratic behavior. In this case, the alteration made the effect basal out, but the users didn't click connected the hunt results much often than expected.

Data investigation shows that this trial affected the click-through complaint (CTR) connected the pages tested. In this case, the rankings and impressions remained unchangeable compared to our modeled power group. The alteration successful clicks seems to beryllium purely owed to the behaviour of Google users. 

Knowing what users expect and what users find appealing tin marque a large quality successful however users interact with your hunt results snippets. For this test, we present cognize that this peculiar contented freshness awesome does not lucifer idiosyncratic expectations. Optimizing leafage titles isn't conscionable astir including your main keyword(s). There is overmuch much to penning appealing and effectual leafage titles. 

With divided testing, you privation to guarantee that the changes you marque volition output affirmative results. We privation to forestall organizations from wasting time, money, and vigor connected changes that yet marque nary oregon lone a constricted affirmative contribution. Testing allows you to determination rapidly and instrumentality proven affirmative changes. 

Finding ways to basal retired and beryllium the astir applicable reply to a hunt query is indispensable for optimal integrated performance. Keep successful caput that thing that works for 1 website whitethorn not enactment for another. The lone mode to cognize for definite is to trial what works for you!