Search engine optimization (SEO) is nothing more than a fancy buzzword used to describe what we do to help Google help their customers (people searching for stuff) find the information most relevant to what they’re searching for.
In an ideal world, SEO would be an easy job.
Marketers would write stuff, publish it online, Google would find it and add it to their index (filed under the appropriate keywords), cross-reference it with how popular it is (by counting incoming links and social metrics), and then people looking for the most relevant information would see it pop up in their search results.
Sounds easy, right?
Sadly, because some of the less-scrupulous Internet marketers out there decided they didn’t want to play fair, we now find ourselves caught in the middle of a never-ending battle between Google and those who are constantly trying to “game the system” by exploiting loopholes or stretching Google’s ability to keep up with their so-called “black hat” SEO tricks.
Welcome to the war between Google and the Internet spammer…
Obviously, this makes SEO more challenging for the rest of us.
And, to make it more interesting, Google seems bent on turning their search engine into something resembling a supercomputer intelligence from the realms of science-fiction.
But it’s not all bad, and the difficulties we face with SEO don’t have as much to do with observing Google’s rules as they do with avoiding those tactics Google frowns upon.
In other words, if we don’t try to cheat the system, and we approach SEO with the needs of those for whom our content is intended firmly in mind, we should be okay.
If we play by the proper rules of good SEO, most of which basically come down to common sense, there’s no reason why the average professional photographer who serves a relatively small local area (for example, a specific city or group of towns) can’t rank on the first page of the search results for their target market.
What Is SEO?
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