SEO Doesn’t Look Like It Did Last Year

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A perfect search engine optimization strategy has been the stuff of dreams since, well, the beginning of search engines. Since that time, SEO has gone over so many facelifts and iterations that seemed to completely reinvent what it meant to maintain “best practices” when it came to search engines. As recently as a couple years ago, “link building” was hailed as SEO king, and link building networks found themselves in high demand.

Too often, the trend of providing SEO work became about ‘tricking’ the search engines, particularly Google. Funny, since what search engine companies have always wanted hasn’t really changed in two decades: Google and its competitors simply want to provide the best, most relevant search experience for their users. This is what keeps searchers coming back for more. Over time, they’ve perfected their search algorithms to better achieve this goal by excluding results which try to game the system.

Professional SEO outfits know this, and have for some time. More and more, working in SEO means becoming proficient in a larger number of tasks than ever before in order to guarantee Google’s good graces.

First of all, if you want to be working in SEO in 2015, you’d better know how to write and prepare some great content. More and more now, SEO positions look for someone who can create the actual content that will help to populate, update, and keep their web properties valuable. This means that being able to write blog posts, scripts videos, create images in Photoshop, and more should be in your CV’s skill list. Let’s face it, SEO now is an aggregate of other tasks and companies aren’t looking to pay four different salaries to have them accomplished when one ambitious employee with a bit of know-how can make it happen.

You also need to be a strong team leader. This is truer if you’re working in a brick and mortar company than if you’re doing SEO for your own blog, but it’s still relevant to enterprises of any size. A large part of an SEO expert’s job is educating others. Because content creation, social engagement, and more all tie into SEO these days, it’s important than anyone and everyone on a team have a basic working knowledge of what SEO is and how you seek to achieve it. In a sense, your job is to help instill SEO into workplace culture so that employees are keeping search engine impact in mind when they work on their own projects. Even if you’re a solo marketer working from home, instilling SEO smarts in any freelancers you hire or business partners you might be taking on can be invaluable.

In the old days it seemed to be that everyone was preaching the “building” of links, when what they should have been on about was the “attraction” of them. Now, more people are catching on, and so should you. Create content that is so good it has to be shared, and make good use of social channels. Your goal should be to attract links from other people who want to repost and talk about your content – what was once limited to syndication is now expanded into the entire arena of social media.

And finally, always keep your eyes peeled for the next trend – the most successful SEO’ers don’t chase waves after they crest, they ride them as they form.

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