SEO: Is it a trick or a treat?

Internet search engines and content marketing have come a long way from their humble beginnings.

trick-or-treatIn the early days, companies didn’t have a good way of preventing spammers and scammers from finagling your search results. It was easy to be trapped into visiting scamming sites for illegitimate businesses. That’s where the Google search engine algorithm came in. This algorithm helps prevent bogus companies from inundating your search results and puts relevant content right at the top of your feed. If there is an advertisement, it is highlighted in yellow with the word “ad” in small print so you know the site will try to sell you something.

The spammer technique

Search engine optimization (SEO) sometimes gets labeled incorrectly as a spamming technique because you’re trying to “trick” people into visiting your site. Unfortunately, some misinformed people may try to use it to do just that. However, the true purpose of SEO is to provide people with valuable content quality links as part of an overall marketing strategy.

The Search Engine Journal (SEJ) explains SEO in the year 2014 this way: “SEO now brings together a host of different disciplines: search optimization tactics, social media marketing, local marketing, copywriting, conversion optimization, and content development.”

Provide customers with high quality content

The point of all this is to create good content that appeals to your audience. It’s no use tricking uninterested people into visiting your site. They’ll just navigate away as quickly as they entered. Instead, SEO seeks to make it easy for interested parties to find what they’re looking for as easily as possible. Thus, as SEJ says, “Ultimately, a search engine’s goal is to provide users with a positive customer experience . . . [which] would refer to high quality helpful content that links as closely as possible with what the user was looking for when she initiated the search.”

Keyword optimization

SEO isn’t just about creating content, it’s also about know what it is people are searching for. You’ll need to tag your content with the keywords people are typing into search engines, but to effectively do so you’ll also need to invest time in researching what the highest yielding search terms are. Then you can tailor your content accordingly. If you try to tag your site with keywords that don’t actually appear there, the Google algorithm will lower your rank or even block you, so genuine articles and honesty are key.

Source: Search Engine Journal

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