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Avoiding Shady SEO Tactics Three Tips for 2014

Local search engine optimization

How did you get to this page? There’s an 80% chance that you’re reading these words because you followed a link through a search engine. This alone highlights how important it is for businesses to gear their websites for better search rankings: the search engine experience is ubiquitous to online navigation.

Recently, popular lyrics website Rap Genius found itself completely removed from Google search results as punishment for participating in a link building scheme. Companies looking for a higher search rank need to be wary of how they practice SEO, and with whom. Less legitimate SEO services will use shady tactics that, if they backfire, are your mess to clean up.

How can you avoid having your site penalized by Google? Here are three tips for steering clear of trouble in 2014.

1. Generate Unique Content

If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: unique content is the backbone of quality SEO. If your website only consists of three short pages, you’re never going to see the search results you desire. Keep a blog, and update it regularly with informative, relevant content; companies with 50+ blogs experience a 77% greater monthly lead lift. Get rid of any copy/pasted manufacturer descriptions, because duplicate content is something Google sees as being less relevant for searchers.

2. Check the Quality of Your Inbound and Outbound Links

Links are one of the main ways Google determines website relevancy. Why is Amazon often a top search result for retail items? Because not only does the site feature a ton of content, but it also receives a lot of referral traffic from other websites. Most people know that search engine optimization basics involve inbound linking, but not everyone understands that Google will evaluate the importance of those links by the quality of the associated content.

For this reason, you don’t want to insert your link into every “free link submission site” you can find, and you should use various free online SEO tools to test your links. Outbound links matter, too. If the outbound links on your pages are dead, Google will take that as a sign that the page is older, and rank it accordingly.

3. Don’t Misunderstand the Point of SEO Services

Common among business owners is the belief that SEO content on or off their site in the forms of blogs, articles, and more, should discuss their company’s attributes and promises. You need to think like someone who is Googling, not like someone who is selling. People searching for a “pizza recipe” probably don’t want to see your store’s quality guarantee. But they do want to see a good pizza recipe. This is a way to build up your site rank first, with the understanding that the ROI will follow.

There are a lot of reasons to consider investing in professional SEO services. What are yours? Continue reading here.

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