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It can often be difficult to get a hold on what SEO is and what it isn’t, what it does and what it doesn’t.

Hopefully this post will clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding SEO!

Truth: SEO has both a good and a bad reputation.

SEO for 2015 needs to be honest, transparent and genuine.

One of the main reasons that SEO has a bad rap is because bad SEO is one of the main reasons that Google can penalise your website. People have often sold SEO services to companies who were unaware that the services they were purchasing would harm their web rankings dramatically.

So called black hat (BAD) practices such as poor or spammy link building, duplicate content and keyword stuffing all worked once, but now Google’s constantly updated algorithm penalises sites that are looking for a way to game the system.

Good SEO, when done well, is the reason your site will feature higher in the search engines.

Fiction: SEO Is Dead

If SEO is dead, why would Google publish an SEO Starter Guide? As long as search engines exist, so too will optimisation.

At its heart, SEO still means building and optimising a website to make it easy to crawl, index and be ranked by search engines.

Even a beautiful website with amazing content still needs good SEO.

Truth: On-Page SEO Still Matters

Good on-page SEO is the art of making your pages simple to understand, this will include:

Using a keyword in your web address

Including your primary keyword in the page title

Not overusing your keyword (stuffing)

Ensuring content is relevant, and easy to read

Including optimised images & videos

Using proper grammar and spelling

Ensuring your meta description is interesting and relevant

Supplying mobile friendly website versions

Checking site speed – fix slow loading pages

Fiction: Google Wants You to Avoid SEO

Google’s webmaster tools is an excellent resource for understanding what Google is expecting from modern SEO, and what it isn’t expecting.

Google expects a good internal linking structure so that all of your pages are easily found and can be indexed by Google, especially if your site is large or complex. Check that the number of pages indexed matches the number of pages published to see whether there are indexing issues.

Google also provides information in Webmaster Tools about search queries, the search words that people are using to find your site. This information can be very helpful in understanding how people are or are not getting to your pages.

Webmaster tools also allows you to submit sitemaps and new pages, further helping your site to be crawled.

So Google appreciates SEO, if it is done honestly and thoroughly!

Fiction: Link building is (also) dead

The old and now punishable form of link building, where low quality links to a website were bought in the thousands, is certainly dead. But links are still incredibly important. The main way that link ‘earning’, as we should perhaps call it, is achieved is through the creation of content and websites that people WANT to link to. Social media links and links from articles and blogs are valuable SEO weight. So make something people will want to link to!

Fiction: You Should Not Be Paying for SEO Services

SEO is specialised work, and just as you hire someone to develop your website, or do your advertising design, so an SEO specialist will know the best way for your company to earn a higher place in the web rankings. Find someone honest and with a proven track record.

In conclusion, the idea that SEO is dead is just not true. It is certainly true that bad SEO practices have been eradicated by changes in Google’s algorithm, but good SEO, meaning thorough and careful attention to the SEO factors that Google approves of and encourages, is not going away any time soon, and can lead to healthy web rankings and higher customer engagement levels.

Still not sure about SEO then why not get our Website SEO report here.

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