The technical bits of SEO change every day. Everyone that I talk to that is trying to wrap their head around SEO is intimidated mostly by the rapid change in the industry.
However, there are a few basic rules you can bet money on when you’re dealing with Google.
Nothing Easy Works for Long
If it’s easy today, it won’t be tomorrow. Google’s actively looking for ways to improve the quality of their search results, and that generally means eliminating loopholes.
As soon as you discover a tactic that produces amazing results for little effort, watch your back. Chances are you’ll find it’s not as effective. See Google’s rumored infographic change.
Diversity is Just as Important as Quality
When in doubt, balance it out. An abnormal concentration of high-PR links can be just as damaging as a high concentration of low-quality links. An abnormal amount of keyword-rich links can signal spam, but using only “click here” and branded links gives you no relevance to specific keywords. The key is diversity.
It’s dangerous to hang out on either side of the spectrum, and this is what tends to get new sites in trouble; they can get a lot of links from the sites of their peers, but they all tend to be in the same authority range. This post by Tom Anthony demonstrates how high concentrations of similar authority links can hurt you.
Consistency is Critical
Whether you’re talking about blog post schedules or link building, consistency is just as important as quantity. If you get a huge mass of links all at once, it can look like spam to the engines. If you blog only when the “muse” strikes you, you’ll never build a consistent audience.
Be consistent. Here-and-there tactics produce spotty results. You’ll only experience true success once the winch is tightened consistently.
Half Your Job is Education
Whether you’re a consultant, an in-house SEO, or just a small business owner learning the ropes, at least half of your time will be spent telling people what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, why it’s worth it, and why everyone else should be doing it too.
More often than not, you’ll find yourself educating your co-workers and clients on the ins-and-outs of SEO, so you better know your stuff.
Spread Them Eggs
Don’t put all of your traffic eggs in Google’s basket. Whether that means paying for advertising, investing in social media or growing your email list, you’ve got to diversify your traffic portfolio. If the Google gravy train derails, you’re going to have a bad time.
Whenever you can, take advantage of other sources of traffic.
The world of internet marketing changes constantly, but can you think of any other rules of thumb for SEO? Let me know in the comments!