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1 in 3 Business Owners Don’t Understand How Google Search Rankings Work

A new study shows a significant knowledge gap when it comes to understanding SEO basics, such as what SEO is or how Google ranks pages.

Fractl surveyed over 900 Americans not the topic, of which 394 were business owners.

Business owners appear to have a marginally better understanding of SEO compared to non-business owners, but results of the survey show there’s plenty of room for both groups to learn more.

According to the survey:

  • Nearly 1 in 4 business owners, and over 2 in 5 non-business owners, are not at all or only vaguely familiar with SEO.
  • Over 1 in 3 business owners, and over half of non-business owners, have little or no understanding of how Google determines search rankings.

“Not only does that mean they might not be implementing the most effective content strategies and optimizing their websites appropriately, but they’re also likely missing out on low-hanging fruit, like improving site speed and considering site structure.

The good news is that if they learn about SEO now, they can make leaps in the right direction that will help them against their competitors.”

Related: How Search Engine Algorithms Work: Everything You Need to Know

All Survey Respondents Failed a Basic SEO Quiz

To further illustrate the SEO knowledge gap, Fractl gave survey respondents an 8-question quiz on SEO. On average, business owners got a 48.7% (F) on the quiz, while non-business owners got a 38.7% (F-).

The quiz asked participants the following multiple-choice questions:

  • Which best describes organic search?
  • What is alt text?
  • What are backlinks?
  • What is anchor text?

The following true/false questions were also asked:

  • Site speed is an important factor in Google search rankings (T/F)
  • Nofollow links do no impact Google search rankings (T/F)

What Does This Mean?

Over 70% of business owners say SEO is either “moderately” or “very” important to to the health of their business. So this is not a matter of businesses not caring about SEO or realizing how it can affect their business.

“SEO for business owners is exceptionally more important – they need to understand how search engines work so they can better rank their own website and get more traffic to their pages.”

Results of the survey show there are opportunities for businesses to improve their presence online by learning more about SEO.

“With greater SEO knowledge, companies can see massive gains in their marketing and sales goals and establish a foundation for greater long-term growth.”

Source: Fractl

More Resources

Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

1 in 3 Business Owners Don’t Understand How Google Search Rankings Work

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