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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Is there any shortcut for it?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as defined by experts

“SEO stands for “search engine optimization” It’s the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as "organic") search engine results.” 
MOZ

The increase in traffic is achieved through both technical and non technical SEO, under on page optimization the website is optimized to be discoverable, understandable to search engines & useful, relevant and quick accessible to users.

Under off page SEO we focus on creating high quality reference links which boosts the SERP’s and increase organic (non paid) traffic to the website.

It’s all about knowing what your target audience is searching for, the questions they ask, they key phrases they use and the type of content they consume, understanding the target audience intent and developing content which answers these searches.

If your New to SEO make sure you complete this course by MOZ : Beginners Guide to SEO By MOZ https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo 

“Is there a shortcut to SEO?”

No!!!!

Let’s understand the Google first, 

On the verge of making search results more relevant and accurate to users, Google constantly updates the algorithms, 500 to 600 times every year, some of these updates are minor and some are huge which makes SEO professionals go crazy.

Following are some of the major updates so far.

Panda – Early 2011

To solve: Duplicate, Plagiarized or Thin content; user-generated spam; keyword stuffing

Penguin : Mid 2012

To solve: Spammy or irrelevant links; links with over-optimized anchor text

Hummingbird : Q4, 2013

To solve: Keyword stuffing; low-quality content

Pigeon : Mid 2014

To solve: Poor on-and off-page SEO

Mobile Mobile Mobile : Mid, 2015

Hazards: Lack of a mobile version of the page, poor mobile usability, non responsive

RankBrain :Q4, 2015

Hazards: Lack of query-specific relevance 

To solve; shallow content, poor UX

Possum : Q4, 2016

Hazards: Tense competition in your target location

Maccabees Update : Q4 2017

Mobile-First Indexing : Early 2018

Started migrating sites to mobile first index that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing.

If you notice the above google search algorithm updates, each update was released to provide the most relevant and useful content, if you observe the updates only some elements can be a quick fixes like, improving UI/UX, Fixing duplicate content, keywords optimizations etc.

Let’s list some of the factors which directly affect your Google rankings.

  1. Older Content
  2. Longer Content
  3. Quality & Relevant Backlinks
  4. Unique, Informative & Useful
  5. Social Signals
  6. Meta Tags
  7. Bounce Rates

All these factors are achieved through quality and consistent optimisation, SEO is a long term plan with short term objectives, today various seo tools are available to understand what type of content your target audience seek and consume, this helps us to pinpoint content to increase relevance and quality traffic. for long term benefits always follow Google guidelines, to stay safe from the penalties from google updates.

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