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Modern SEO: What Works & What Doesn’t

The entire SEO landscape has changed over the last couple of years and Google are leading the charge in their quest to improve visitor experience. Major changes in its algorithms such as Panda and Penguin have completely altered the ball game and the speed at which Google has acted shocked many webmasters as they saw their sites disappear from the rankings overnight. The days of listings being dominated by organic site matches are gone; the modern era involves maps, videos, images and social networking sites. Keep reading to find out more about the modern SEO practices that work and the outdated methods that don’t.

What Works

Local SEO is arguably the most important aspect of search engine optimization as Google looks to tailor results to meet the location of searchers. If you’re in Dallas, Texas for example and type ‘pizza’ into the search box, you will be greeted with a list of restaurants in Dallas that serve pizza. If you want a great Local SEO rating, you need to get on Google Places. Set up an account and add in as much relevant information about your business as possible and never use abbreviations when it comes to your address. Ask loyal customers to add reviews of your business as consumer reviews show up prominently in search engine results.

Search and social are now inextricably linked. Search engine rankings are heavily influenced by social cues such as ‘likes’ on Facebook and ‘shares’ on Twitter. This means adding social buttons to the bottom of everything you post to encourage people to share. Videos also appear frequently on search engine results so start creating video blogs to go along with written content. Share these videos on YouTube and add selected keywords to the video description.

What Doesn’t Work

Keyword stuffing hasn’t worked for several years now and the aforementioned Google algorithm changes killed off the practice completely yet some businesses still write for search engines and not readers. Bear in mind that people search Google because they have a question that needs to be answered. After performing the necessary keyword research, you also need to create compelling content that provides genuine value. This will hopefully end the lamentable practice of content spinning which provides zero value and should be considered a form of spam.

Website builders such as Wix were praised for creating fancy Flash websites but now Wix has been forced to change since search engine spiders don’t pick up flash media. Filling your website with glossy Flash images will only cause your website to plummet further down the rankings.

If you think that age-old ‘tricks’ such as link farming, keyword stuffing and content spinning have any hope of working in the modern SEO age, think again. A ridiculous number of businesses still utilize SEO techniques that haven’t been effective for 3-4 years, let alone since Panda and Penguin.

You can no longer afford to be lazy with your website because a high quality visitor experience is what it’s all about. Start expanding your social media reach and focus on ranking well in the local SEO stakes for genuine success.

Written By

Jason Kay is a website developer and marketer and enjoys sharing useful ways to help people promote their websites. He recommends using to create your own professional looking website.



  1. Jeff

    March 31, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Nice tips Jason. But how can we apply this on a blog? I mean something like a general tech blog that doesn’t have a physical store?

  2. CBIL360

    April 1, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Local SEO is one of the best SEO strategy to get more businesses from your local area which benefits you a lot, So don’t ignore it. On the other side to be high on search engine results – You must go in a natural ways which search engine loves i.e., avoid any unethical activity which later leads in dis-appointment .

  3. Sudipto

    April 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Hey Jason,
    Awesome post with great information and I think this post gonna helps all the newbies. I really like all the tips you mentioned above. Thanks for sharing this post.

  4. Lee

    April 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    This all sounds good to me because this is going to mean the more you are prepared to put in hopefully the more reward you are going to receive in the long term which is what it should be all about. The social side will still be scammed heavily though if it is not all ready unfortunately the less scrupulous will adapt their techniques as well that is life I suppose. Hopefully with Facebook and such cleaning up their site of bogus accounts this will keep them at bay.

    Great info thanks lee

  5. Jane

    April 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Very true and insightful post Jason. More than saying that keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore – it actually will most probably lead to penalties! It also gives a very bad user experience and the very purpose of optimization is not meant!

  6. William Miller

    April 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    So, it’s doesn’t mater now whether my site has meta or not, does it? I didn’t pay too much attention to it. But I thought it mattered, anyway, more or less. As for social media, it’s healthy and promising, but expanding social media channels is much more difficult than link building or keyword stuffing!

  7. Rohit Kabdwal

    April 9, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Well said Jason,
    the concept of modern SEO is the result of the continuously changing algorithm of the search giant Google.., Google replaced its older and traditional algorithms with the modern and more practical ones to provide the most relevant results to the users..,
    this is the only fact which is now uprooting the older ethics of blogging.., links keyword stuffing and all..
    nice share .:)

  8. Luis

    April 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Very well said, Jason. It’s true that local SEO has become more important now than it ever has been thanks to new local-friendly google algorithms.

  9. Vin DiCarlo

    May 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Hello Jason, I am always looking for informative content and you provide this here. Really i am glad to read this article. This is really good information for my business. Knowing more about my ideal customer and using that information to improve and sell my products is great for the business. Thanks.

  10. Paul

    May 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    A great post and you are of course correct the SEO landscape has changed. However I was looking at an SEO companies website the other day and noticed that they had thousands of back links to their site from a website they are administering. The back links are white on white! Obviously these underhand tactics still work but I wouldn’t want to be those guys if the big G finds out. You would have thought google’s algorithms would have auto detected this a long time ago?

  11. Jennifer Richard

    May 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Awesome post jason, your article describe all steps of SEO, hot to optimize the website. good content , high quality back link and other social media sites effect. keyword stuffing, duplicate content harm the site.

  12. Santosh Kumar

    May 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Nice Explanation about SEO, panda and penguin update always alter the algorithm of SEO. Panda related to content of webpage. penguin related to the quality of backlink of website. Keyword stuffing and over optimization harm the website.

  13. Yasir Khan

    May 29, 2013 at 2:59 am

    SEO became a modern world since the Panda and Penguin were implemented. It turned out to be a stricter and tougher arena for business and marketing. They are now keen on removing spam web sites that continue to use black hat technique just to rank their sites.

  14. santosh Kumar

    June 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Good concept of SEO. panda and penguin is major thing in SEO.

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