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SEO has been a hot topic since search engines first started aggregating websites and serving results to web searchers. It has played an immense role in online positioning and business success. However, with the recent Google updates, there has been some confusion – does SEO still matter today? If so, how do you take advantage of it?

SEO Is Still Essential

First, you need to understand that search engine optimization is still a vital consideration for anyone who hopes to actually build a successful web presence. SEO helps tell search engine spiders what your website is about, how to place your site in organic search results and much more. With that being said, there have been some changes and if you are not aware of how those impact your use of optimization techniques, it can actually bite you.

Changes with Panda/Farmer

The Panda/Farmer update from Google has changed things. Ultimately, these changes are for the better, as they will give far clearer and more accurate results for real people. With that being said, you can no longer use all of the same SEO methods to garner a higher page rank. The new update from Google means that far more weight is given to quality, original information – good, solid content. If you have duplicate content on your website, you can expect to be penalized for it and see your page rank fall dramatically.

In many ways, the new update levels the playing field a bit by eliminating some of the spam results that often dominated the top ranks in search results. If you can incorporate solid, usable, original content on your site and integrate accurate keywords within that content, then you can position your company as a leader in your industry or niche more easily.

It Takes an Expert

However, just because the focus is now on quality content does not mean that you can go it alone. If you don’t know the right tactics and strategies to make the most of the changes at Google, then you might actually be sabotaging your own success. You also need to have an expert on your side who understands the importance of accurate reporting and reliable, ongoing communication.

What to Look for in an SEO Expert

Finding such an expert can take some time. While SEO companies abound today, they’re not all created equal. You need to find a company that is dedicated to providing you with reliable results, accurate reporting and who is able to communicate with you on a constant basis. The somewhat ephemeral nature of search engine optimization means that only through accurate reporting and communicating can you really judge the effectiveness of the program.

Finally, you really want to find a company that doesn’t force you to sign a long-term contract. That gives you the freedom to consider other options if you are not seeing the results that you need, but it also shows the company’s confidence in their SEO techniques and performance for their clients.

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