>Some gurus like to maintain the air of mystery around SEO, but it’s really not that difficult to understand. Google offers plenty of free information and advice for webmasters wanting to improve their sites, and there are resources available to help with everything from keyword research to site security.
7 Things You Must Know About SEO

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1) Original content is king.

The saying used to be “Content is king,” but the truth is it has to be “original”content. Cutting and pasting articles from other sites is more likely to harm your website ranking than improve it. So called “spun” content can be identified by today’s sophisticated search engines, and there are no shortcuts when it comes to producing high-quality content. If you don’t have the time or skills to write your own content, consider hiring a freelance writer.

2) Quality links count.

It was once believed that a high quantity of backlinks to a website ensured a high ranking in the search engines. This may have worked in the early days of SEO, but it’s quality that counts now. Paying for links or using software to generate them has little or no value. Half a dozen good quality links has more benefit than hundreds of artificially created links or ones from sites with poor ranking. Google views links as votes of approval from other sites, and they can have a huge impact on your site if they come from respected sources.

3) Technical issues can harm your ranking.

Technical problems on your website can have a negative impact on ranking. If Google believes your visitor experience is poor due to dead links and navigation issues, it may rank competitor sites above yours. The Panda and Penguin updates made fixing technical issues even more important. Run regular checks and scans to check for problems, and fix them as a matter of priority.

4) Speed impresses Google.

Another key aspect of the user experience when visiting a website is the loading and navigation speed. If your site uses complex code and high resolution images, users may not be able to navigate between pages easily. Google rewards faster sites with higher rankings. Consider this SEO factor when deciding on your hosting package. Choosing budget hosting could make it harder for your site to reach the position necessary to receive high volumes of traffic.

5) Security protections are SEO factors.

Google takes the threat of hacking very seriously and uses state of the art security to protect its search engine. The company has recently announced that it will reward sites with good security protections, so this has become a factor in SEO. From Google’s perspective, it could cause reputational damage if it directs a user to a site with a virus or malware.

6) Keywords are not as important as they used to be.

SEO gurus use claim that keyword research was essential for a website to rank well, but the level of sophistication of search engines means this is no longer the case. It’s still necessary to use appropriate keywords in your content, but you no longer need to consider factors like keyword density.

7) Google Plus is a useful SEO tool.

It’s no surprise that Google’s own social network, Google Plus, is becoming increasingly important in search engine ranking. Sharing content on Google Plus and building a profile in the network’s community has proven benefits for SEO.

SEO is always evolving, but the basics remain the same. If you provide good quality content and a good user experience, your site will rank well.