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OK, so content isn’t absolutely everything when it comes to making sure your site’s SEO is up to snuff, but most of the “SEO tricks” or “hacks” that used to work can actually do more to hurt than help. We’ll detail many of these “gray hat” techniques in future articles, but here’s a quick primer on today’s search engine field and why content is your only true SEO friend.
SEO “Hacks” Can Hinder Growth
In a nutshell, Google (and Bing/Yahoo or your other favorite search engine) wants to give their users—people conducting searches, and your potential customers—websites that best provide the best answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. In other words, they want to deliver the best and most accessible content for each and every search. That’s all they’re after.
Search engines use hundreds (maybe thousands) of factors to determine which site has the most relevant content, and every “SEO hack” out there is meant to trick search engines into thinking one site’s content is the best—even when that’s far from true. Paid backlinks on shady sites, keyword stuffing, using duplicate or “spun” content to create hundreds of pages on the cheap—these are all meant to give pages a search engine boost despite a lack of quality and originality.
These tricks are most often used to deliver poor quality or irrelevant content, which is contrary to search engines’ goals. In the past few years, Google and others have gotten really good at identifying these “hacks” and have cracked down hard on sites that employ them. 100 bad backlinks won’t help your SEO at all anymore, and in fact could lead your site to become blacklisted altogether. Same with super-high keyword densities and hundreds of repetitive pages.
If you want to see your search engine ranks climb, give readers what they want: original, high-quality content focused on the topics your startup relates to. Do content right, and the search engines will beat a path to your door.