Web Almanac 2021 is out and it contains some interesting SEO observations

HTTP archive has released the Web Almanac for 2021 which includes an interesting chapter on SEO

The HTTP Archive project publishes the Web Almanac, a thorough report on the state of the web, every year. The report contains case studies, statistics, and useful information from trusted web experts. The SEO chapter consists of 35 pages and offers insights into various SEO elements.

Who has contributed to the SEO chapter?

The authors of the SEO chapter in Web Almanac 2021 include:

  • Patrick Stox – Product Advisor, Technical SEO, and Brand Ambassador at Ahrefs
  • Tomek Rudzki – Head of Research and Development at Onely.
  • Ian Lurie – Digital Marketing Consultant at Ian Lurie Consulting

What are some of the interesting SEO findings in the Web Almanac 2021 report?

We have collated a list of interesting statistics related to SEO that are highlighted in the report:

Websites use more H2’s than H1’s

HTTP Archive’s study of heading tags revealed that the majority of websites use more H2 tags (71.9%) as compared to H1 tags (65.4%).

16.6% of the external links contain non-descriptive anchor text

When it comes to external links, websites make sure of broadly two use cases. One is using the keyword as an anchor (descriptive) and the other using call to actions such as “click here”, “read more”, etc; as the anchor text (non-descriptive). As per the study from HTTP Archive, 16.6% of the external links contained non-descriptive anchor text.

Very few people use the newly introduced rel=”ugc” and rel=”sponsored” tags

As per Web Almanac 2021, only 0.4% of mobile pages used the rel=”ugc” tag. And the rel=”sponsored” tag appeared on only 0.3% of mobile pages.

81.9% of websites have a robots.txt file

Last year’s Web Almanac report 202, highlighted that 80.5% of websites had a robots.txt file. This number has increased to 81.9% in 2021. This shows that more and more site owners are making use of the robots.txt file to optimize the crawl budget.

A majority of the websites are moving to HTTPS to optimize for Page Experience

Google has placed special emphasis on website security. HTTPS is part of the Page Experience update and is a potential ranking factor. There’s no surprise that 81.2% of mobile pages and 84.3% of desktop pages have HTTPS in 2021.

29% of mobile websites passed the Core Web Vitals assessment

As soon as Google announced that Core Web Vitals (CWV) would be a ranking factor, SEOs were on their toes to optimize their websites for Pagespeed. Web Almanac 2021 reveals that 29% of mobile websites now pass Google’s Core Web Vitals Assessment. We expect this number to increase in the coming year.

Key Takeaway

The Web Almanac 2021 report by HTTP Archive consists of some really interesting observations and trends with regards to SEO. We recommend you check the entire report here, which will help you shape your SEO strategy for 2022.


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Web Almanac 2021 is out and it contains some interesting SEO observations