To SEO or not to SEO; That is the Question

 
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Remember when SEO (search engine optimization) was something only data analytic geeks understood? I do. Now “How’s your SEO” has become a polite cocktail conversation. Of course, the BIG question that everyone loves to debate about is whether or not SEO matters anymore.

The short answer, yes, it matters. But take heart, content writers across the universe, SEO today goes hand in hand with high-quality content. Even Google agrees…read on:

A brief history of SEO from the beginning of time

SEO began as a magic formula for making web pages rocket to the top of a browser search. Before long, crafty folks realized that if you forced enough keywords into your content, you could seriously influence the ranking. As a result, many of us witnessed home pages with almost incomprehensible strings of meaningless sentences.

Then things got worse. Practices emerged like “keyword stuffing”, that loaded up pages with blocks of keyword text hidden in white type font. Other tricks included artificial or forced page rankings and other spam link building tactics.

Google, being Google, however, was not fooled for long. In an effort to reward good sites with quality, original content, they redid their algorithm for search engines.  Keyword stuffing no longer moves a website to the front page. In fact, Google penalizes a website that keyword stuffs (don’t you love it when the bad guys lose?).

SEO and quality content can be friends!

The goal, from Googles’ point of view, is that internet users receive only the best and most accurate search results first, rather than unhelpful (or misleading) spam.

Which means:

  • SEO is good, but it’s not the only thing that drives up content in the search engine results page!

  • Great content is necessary, but you can’t ignore those keywords.

In the end, content marketing writers and data analytic geeks can live happily ever after! And that’s worth a few choice keywords (artfully used, of course, in some great content!).

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