The SEO community is at a challenging point. After years of enjoying some predictability of search engine optimization, website marketers feel like they’ve hit a brick wall because of Google’s recent algorithm changes. We all know that Google is in charge and that they have every right to run their business as they see fit. The difficultly is this: Every time they change their algorithm or put their foot down on what was formerly an acceptable SEO technique, the rest of us get, well….. “Scroogled”.

Here are some things you will want to be mindful of to stay on the right side of optimizing your blog or website:

Stick with quality content. Over and over we are hearing that content is still king and that if you write, distribute and produce content that is relevant, useful and recent for your reading audience you will get the links you deserve naturally. That also means adding keywords into your copy naturally. Don’t over-stuff with those keywords because Google knows that trick and doesn’t like it.

Create backlinks with care. Long gone are the days of link farms and black hat tricks to get you all those links. These days we need to get links the good old fashioned way… by earning them. In addition to serving up great content that others will want to connect to, the recent trend is to guest post in order to get “do follow” links. Great idea, right? Well, even that can be done to excess, and it’s just a matter of time before this practice gets abused to the point that Google gets annoyed by it. Rather than posting your guest post articles on any old blog, be selective. Do your homework and make sure the websites are decent quality and a true fit for your article.

Stay social. A recent study from Searchmetrics 2013 Ranking Factors report showed how social media links and activity are playing a much larger role in site optimization. Besides the pure ranking power, activity in social media makes sense because it allows you to claim your brand, develop it, and embellish it through all kinds of content. The big traditional social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only ones to be involved in. Find out where your audience is active, stake your brand there and develop some branded links.

When it comes to optimization, it’s a good idea to stay calm and understand that the rules will change as trends will come and go. But if you stay the course with a high-quality, sensible and content-driven strategy that is relevant to your brand, the Google gods will be kind.

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