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The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is a fluid, constantly changing landscape.  What worked a year ago at getting your website into the top of the search engines now could drop its rankings 200+ spaces!

This point couldn’t have been made better then back in February 2011 when Google’s “Panda” (the name of a major change in its ranking algorithm) drastically reduced the benefits of article marketing, specifically poorly written articles. Up until then, the SEO value of an article wasn’t affected by how well written or how informative it was, just that it existed.

However, since 1995 when my family and I opened our Internet marketing business, I’ve became involved in optimizing websites for the search engines, there have been several consistent on-page elements that continually add substantially affect how a given website ranks in the search engines, Google include. Here’s my list of SEO principles that have stood the test of time and probably always will:

  1. Design your website’s structure to make it easier for visitors and search engine robots to browse and find relevant content;
  2. Focus your website’s content on a single topic and then follow up by writing articles that answer a specific question on that topic;
  3. Make sure your main keywords are in your webpage’s Title tag as they’re used everywhere (anchor text, bookmarks, browser tabs, RSS feeds, etc.);
  4. Have your webpage’s meta description tag match the theme of that webpage as it auto-generates description on Facebook and other sites;
  5. Use headlines and headings to help visitors scan the page and find the information relevant to them more quickly;

Unfortunately, the trend in search engine algorithms has been, is and will probably continue to be the importance of links pointing to it being the most important factor in how well it ranks in the engines.  You can thank Google for this as before they came on the scene in 1997, all the factors that went into webpage ranking were determined by what was included in the content (visible as well as invisible) of the webpage.

I guess you could say that in the world of SEO, the more things change, the more things stay the same. And maybe that’s a good thing.

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