Search Engine Optimization is one of the most elementary principals of internet marketing today. In fact most people who think SEO often think of some sort of malicious content-poor site. In today’s market this is no longer true.
There are various safeguards created by different search engines including Google and Bing which protect sites offering information-rich content articles from the hazardous and toxic ranking-deceptions of malicious SEO practices.
The Black Hat
Some underhanded SEO practices includes a variety of techniques now labeled black hat. These are designed especially to attract attention from every facet of the internet whether it is related to that particular topic or not. Keyword-stuffing remains a popular and poor attempt by beginning SEO writers. This means stuffing your page full of the keyword in hopes that a search engine will recognize the high ration of the keyword and rewards you for it. Once upon a time, in a distance past before advancements in algorithms, this was a viable technique. Now it, search engines actually penalize this type of behavior. You must mention the keyword, but at a prime ratio. This is often around two to three percent. Do not exceed this, the search engines will recognize it as the equivalent of a dictionary using the word you are hoping to learn as the definition itself. For example, an entry would not be very helpful if you had to look up the word ‘connote’ and the entry simply state ‘to connote.’
The next black hat technique, and this one will warrant a ban off a search engine. Be warned Google does, and has punished websites for this by a ban. This means the entire Google audience is no longer at your disposal—a huge loss. This technique is called invisible keywording. This means writing the keywords into the html of your page, or perhaps the background. Have you ever seen a page with words that seemingly made no sense in the back? Well, more than likely, that was their poor attempt at using invisible keywords. With the latest software update like Penguin and Panda Google has stopped playing with backhanded techniques detracting from real content.
... or the White Hat
Keywords are essential to any good SEO strategy. You should also keep in mind there is a perfect ratio, usually set at 2.5%. Keep your keywords coming in under this number. The most difficult part of increasing your SEO rankings is doing the constant updates necessary to achieve good rankings. Yes, that’s right. You will have to continuously upload, change, etc.. The reason being primarily that Google and similar search engines will not seek out to support a stagnated website and these sites quickly become pushed to the back.
You should also work towards creating a relationship with other sites. This includes building links and connecting your site to other sites and vice versa. There are various link-sharing sites which will allow you to trade with other bloggers or people in general who are hoping to get their sites popularized by the same methodology. You can share these links, but be sure they are related. Google has a complex algorithm and it can sense when links are directly connected and when they are not. If you have a site about dogs and link it with sites all about car maintenance then Google will not reward you for your efforts. In fact, it may lower your rankings altogether.
Google and other search engines will also see how long visitors look at your site (and if they revisit it). More visits are great, but revisits are SEO gold. This means the search engine will interpret your site as a genuinely helpful and begin recommending it (or rather increasing its rankings).
Basically the only way to get really good ranking is to write excellent content which readers find helpful. Gone are the days of the spam articles. It is a modern necessity to take a small niche market and make it your own on the internet. This will allow you to reach the rankings your site can achieve to its full potential. Ensuring that you do not fall into black hat techniques is easy. Simply ask yourself, if I were searching for this would I do this? If it is no, then your technique may be wrong, or worse—a black hat technique.
For quick reference, you can also have a read at wikipedia about some SEO techniques, those that can harm. It is always good to have a look. :)