From its earliest days, Google's core search algorithm offered the most relevant and most organic search results quickly and accurately on a simple site with an iconic logo that has now become synonymous with the search giant's business. Searching amidst the world's vast data, Google cleverly cataloged and categorized pages using its PageRank formula, which assessed the quantity and power of links to any given webpage. The best keywords are ones that don’t have much competition. Try long-tail keywords — these are three- to six-word keywords that are extremely specific and tend to have less competition for them. Certain words present an ongoing challenge for the search engines. One of the greatest challenges comes in the form of disambiguation. Once all of your on page elements are fully optimised including but not limited to your Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions and H1 Headings, you need to start thinking about link building. You may have heard people dismissing this aspect of SEO. Some people have been penalised for not doing it right, others are paying someone to do it and nothing is happening. If done correctly, it can have an extremely positive effect on your rankings, gaining you the positions that have always seem impossible.

The myth of free and fast traffic

While external links that point to your site provide long-term SEO value, so do links on your site. When you include internal links (links on your website that point to other pages on your website), you send signals to search engines that tell them how to understand, prioritize, and rank the pages on your site. When Google scans your site for information, it no longer pulls out the keyword phrases it thinks are relevant and pairs them to user queries. Instead, there’s an intermediary step. Google interprets the data on your website, and begins to form its own conclusions about what your site and your business really deliver. If that seems a little spooky to you, you aren’t alone — Google is becoming exceptionally sophisticated. The bottom line is that if you’re focusing on a small group of generic keywords, you’re probably not being found by most of the people who are searching for you. With so many people using smartphones and tablet for their Internet search, it is imperative that you have a plan ready to compete for their business.

Spend your time actually optimizing for just one or two keywords

Every website has a robots.txt; this gives robots/crawlers/spiders a bunch of rules to follow, such as where they can/can’t crawl, and the pages they can/can’t index. You can check whether a URL is blocked by robots.txt with Google’s Robots Testing Tool. These days, directory links are unlikely to generate a torrent of traffic but they're a good way to build external links to your site. Additionally, links from specialized directories in your niche will bring in a steady stream of targeted visitors and help reinforce the topic of your site with Google. While your content marketing should be crafted carefully to meet SEO requirements, such as by including keywords, the success and popularity of your actual content will be the real force behind the rise of your web page in the search rankings. The seminal idea behind Google’s ranking technology makes it clear that inbound links are the primary vehicle by which Google discovers new pages and websites on the Internet, and they’re the primary way Google assesses the credibility of a given website.

Stay Focused on the Long-Term

It doesn’t matter how many searches a keyword has in a month if it doesn’t accurately reflect the content on your page! Giving readers relevant information and links to interesting third party websites is definitely the easier of the two methods for creating quality links. Link Building is about more than just giving people the information they asked for though; if they never see those links, then those links aren’t really any good. Google wants to retain its reputation as a quality search engine, so it’s main goal is to make web browsing enjoyable. The satisfaction and enjoyment of web users will only be met if users are given search results that are relevant, safe, useful and easy to navigate. Gaz Hall, a Freelance SEO Consultant, commented: "If you’re goal for a guest post is to receive a backlink in return, then you would want to make sure their website has a number of good quality backlinks. The number of quality backlinks a website has will determine how powerful a link you will get."

It's not guaranteed that your meta description is always pulled into SERPs as it once was

Keyword research should be the starting point for any SEO campaign. Why? Because if you don’t know what people are actually searching for in your niche, you’ll be relying on luck—rather than data—to guide your decisions. Press releases are some of the least-appreciated backlink tactics out there. Fortunately, you don’t need a Madison Avenue PR firm to reap the rewards from press releases. As long as you have something going on at your business (and why wouldn’t you?), you can easily spin that into a new press release. Dig through your customer communications to find additional, actively used keywords. Talk to your customer service people to find out what customers are asking about (in their words). You’ve launched your new website, ready to welcome crowds of new customers. But, if no-one finds your new website, how will they see what you have to offer?