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Trusted SEO Tactics

Although their naming could be misleading to some, Google's latest rounds of algorithm updates have put a lot of stress on SEO professionals to keep up with the changing times.  Penguins and Pandas are vastly different animals in the SEO world. With Google's latest update, Penguin 2.0, the pressure is on web professionals to act ethically towards search engines and pump more effort into producing unique, high-quality content.


The recommended guidelines for SEO put out by Google really emphasize proper link building and original content. Those consumers that use Google for all their daily search needs should be pleased with the recent algorithm revisions. 


More than ever, the emphasis in today's SEO world is on the end user. Search engines are getting back to what they do best: giving people quality results which satisfy the needs they have. Throughout all the updates to algorithms, here are five key tactics that still manage to ring true.


1.  Always have the end user in mind.


While this has not always been the way to get high-ranking results in search engines, new algorithms make it easier to rank highly with content designed for human readers. On-site optimization previously gave a lot of weight to keyword stuffing and did not penalize a lot of spun content.  Nowadays, the most important factors to search engines have changed drastically. Keyword density is becoming increasingly less relevant as time goes on, and algorithms have learned to look at creative page content in addition to relevant meta data. Because the algorithms have gotten much better at processing and analyzing content that is relevant to consumers and SEO professionals alike, high-ranking search results are becoming harder to get, thus making them much more valuable.


2. Be patient.


Ranking on the major search engines is not something that happens instantaneously. The crawlers that index your pages can take a very long time to find your page and compare it to the millions of other pages out there on the Internet.  Additionally, the keywords you try to rank with might be fairly competitive, meaning that it may take multiple editions to your website to outrank more established websites. Efficient keyword research can save you time, and perhaps it will lead you to some successful keywords you did not expect to use.


3. Localize yourself.


As was mentioned earlier, building up your presence in search engines is not an easy overnight task. Try ranking for keywords including the name of a town near your company by going for something like "baseball bats in Syracuse" and rank highly on that. From there, look to move up the rankings for more generic terms like "baseball bats".


4. Write unique, compelling content.


Readers want interesting, informative content. Between infographics, memes, Flash animations, Vine videos and more, dynamic content is what makes people want to stay on websites. Something as simple as a grumpy cat can turn into an Internet sensation if consumers can plainly see the message, have a means to share it with their networks, and have a way to interact and join the conversation. While there is still work to be done, Google and other search engines are getting much better at interpreting many different forms of viral content and giving them back to searchers.


5.  Seek out relevant, reputable links.


Links are the ultimate connector of all pages on the Internet, and search engines are getting better at navigating these links. Today, link building requires more than just having a sheer number of links back to your site. Google's Penguin and Panda updates have given the search engine greater ability to determine whether links are coming from credible sources, and whether or not the links are being created in an ethical manner.  Getting links back from other websites, as long as they have a clean reputation, is a way to get huge boosts in your rankings.


Using these five points as a baseline for your SEO efforts is the best way to go about increasing your website's search engine visibilty. While there are no guaranteed methods to automatically place at or near the top in search engines, starting with quality content and link building and designing for the consumer is the best way to hit the ground running.