Over the past 12 months I’ve spent quite a bit of time during my SEO training taking about attitudes towards SEO and how they have changed over the years but I still hear the old values raising their ugly heads.

I think the easiest way to explain what I mean is to show you the following statements.

SEO is about creating lots of links and writing loads of articles so Google will find all this content and rank me higher.

SEO is about creating an extremely user friendly website full of useful information so Google will rank me higher.

The first statement is what I still hear a lot of, in fact its prevalent, even when talking to people who are complete beginners at SEO. I get asked “How many links do I need to get to number one?” or “If I write hundreds of pages will I get higher in the rankings”. It doesn’t work like this any more and its impossible to quantify amounts of links and pages to rankings.

For example, if you wrote one amazing article containing some excellent original research that got linked to by a few major players within your industry or maybe major news agencies this would work ten times better than 50 knocked-out 200 word articles that are just there to desperately try and get you ranked.

By writing quality articles that generate a good audience you’ll be improving your importance or authority in the eyes of the search engines and this will work heavily in your favour. But its not just about one article, its about doing this sort of work on your website on a regular basis so you become an expert in your field and are looked to for answers. This will all translate into better search rankings.

Looking forward

The world of SEO is changing, but not changing.

Google still wants what it wanted when it first started, the best quality information/page/product so that they can put it in front of their customers or searchers.

The one thing that has changed is the way Google can detect you trying to make them think you’re more important than you really are.

Take links as an example. Google uses links as a measure of popularity and when people worked this out they went and gathered as many quick links as they could to ‘make’ themselves popular and it worked for a while, but not any more.

Here’s a couple more statements.

Going out and generating 1000 links does not make you popular, apart from with yourself.

1000 people finding your work and linking to it without you even knowing does make you popular and will help your rankings….a lot!

The key is that Google now knows which is which and the people who in the past had mass generated links are now trying desperately to get them removed because they are actually hurting their rankings.

The key thing is to do everything naturally. Write and produce great information and promote it to your social networks, local/national press and all the other places you promote your site.

If your content is good enough it will generate natural interest and this is turn will help your rankings.