The Type of SEO that Still Works

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Conduct a search for “SEO is dead” and you’ll get plenty of results. It’s no wonder why website owners have become skeptical of the practice. If the “experts” are saying that SEO is dead, it must be right? After all, the search engines are always changing the rules meaning that what was acceptable even a few months ago might not be acceptable now. So why bother? Well, what’s important to point out is that the search engines aren’t trying to shut down the SEO industry, they are just trying to shut out those that practice “bad” SEO. That’s what needs to be understood by website owners- not all SEO is the same and it’s our job as SEO professionals to share our knowledge and explain that there is one type of SEO that still works and that is fully integrated white hat SEO.

The Type of SEO that Still WorksPracticing white hat SEO means that you follow the search engine webmaster guidelines, which promotes optimizing your website and conducting SEO activities that are geared towards attracting actual target audience members, instead of just the search engine spiders. This approach has been proven to work for websites over and over again, even today while naysayers are promoting their “SEO is dead” agenda.

An SEO campaign certainly looks different than it did a few years ago, but it’s still called an SEO campaign. Thoroughly review a website, conduct keyword research, implement selected keywords into the existing site content naturally, create optimized content on a regular basis to earn inbound links, and maintain an active social media presence to generate social signals and the website will gradually see an improvement. The keyword here is “gradually”. Expectations need to be realistic. A website isn’t going to rise to the top of the search engine results page for competitive keywords within a few weeks or even a few months after starting an SEO campaign. The campaign needs to be ongoing in order to see that slow and steady growth in organic visitors.

Unrealistic expectations and the need for instant gratification is what often sends website owners down the wrong path, into the realm of black hat and gray hat SEO. This SEO approach doesn’t follow the webmaster guidelines and is used to “trick” the search engines to give you a better placement on the search engine results page. The search engines don’t like to be tricked, which is why their algorithms have become extremely complex. The goal is to try and weed out those that use this sort of trickery by handing out penalties. It’s these types of SEO activities that are in fact becoming “dead”. As the search engines get smarter, black hat SEO practitioners are having a harder time dodging penalties.

The key to remaining white hat is to keep in mind that your target audience is the people that you want to visit your website and ultimately buy your products or services. Your target audience isn’t the search engines. Building your brand naturally across the web in the spots that your target audience visits on a regular basis is what will improve your organic search presence naturally.

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