The web is growing day by day, so it’s only natural for many webmasters to find different ways to gain more exposure for their websites.

Even if a website happens to rank well using certain keywords or good content or both, it’s not enough to keep that website ranking well in this day and age. Search engines like Google, in fact, have changed the way they work in regards to generating search results pages.

So, if your website only relies on keywords to rank, it’s not going to rank. If it just relies on good content, it’s not going to rank, but it might provide valuable information to people who happen to stumble upon it. Even using link building doesn’t work entirely well anymore, as modern practices call for more ethical, but time consuming link building campaigns.

Although a lot has changed about search engine optimization in practice, no one said that it was completely useless. The thing about SEO is that you can’t just keep relying on one SEO strategy throughout the year. You can’t even rely on one to last more than a few months. Everything about search is constantly changing now, so webmasters like yourself have to stay ahead of the game to completely conquer it-if you can.

*Behind search*

Search engine optimization-even though some people dismiss it, you still need it to build exposure for your website on today’s web.

The practice of search engine optimization revolves around building the presence of a website and/or a website in search engines. These results mainly affect how websites and/or web pages rank in a search engine’s organic or free search results. How does it affect search?

The earlier or higher that a website ranks in a search results list, the more potential visitors it may receive from visitors browsing the search results. This also applies to websites that appear more than once, on an incredibly frequent basis, in a search engine’s search results.

Using SEO, webmasters can target different types of search to build exposure for their websites, including video search, image search and local search. Though, nothing works better than regular keyword search to get your website started.

Search engine optimization essentially takes how search engines work, the search terms (keywords), the things that people search for and the type of search engine that a webmaster’s target audience uses into consideration. Thanks to those factors, there’s no use in saying that webmasters don’t benefit from search engine optimization because they do.

And, it still as important as we move into 2014.

*Look at your SEO strategy before 2014*

Things are always changing in the world of search engine optimization. Don’t believe it? In 2012 alone, Google made more than 500 updates to their well-known (and infamous in some parts) search engine algorithms. That means that they pretty much constantly fine-tuned the way their search engine works throughout 2012. Some of those changes (Google Panda and Google Penguin) were so large that they completely changed the way people use SEO today.

In the past, most people relied on sly SEO tricks to get higher search rankings. This included ‘masking’ extra keywords on a website by changing them to the same color as the background (usually white) and letting the search engines do the work by finding them based on that.

If people were using sly keyword masking tricks, they were using link farms to build their back links much faster than they do today. Even content was the center of relatively ‘sly’ SEO tricks in the past, especially when many sites developed what was then known as content farms that hosted a lot of written content that may or may not have hosted good information.

Nowadays, the aforementioned SEO strategies are considered ‘black hat SEO’ strategies. Even though old way to do these ‘tricks’ doesn’t work anymore, plenty of people still use ‘new’ versions of these old tricks-with questionable results.

*Your strategy in 2014 – valuable, authoritative content*

Search engines like Google always work to combat questionable search engine optimization techniques much like black hat SEO. You can already see that through their efforts to change the way their search engine works-all to make sure users are seeing content in the way that it matters most.

So, what does this mean for your website in 2014? That’s simple. In 2013, much of the talk about search engine optimization revolved around developing quality content that can make your website look and feel much more authoritative. Authoritative websites simply rank well-and you can already see it happening if you type in certain search terms.

Authoritative websites rank well because they supply visitors with information that’s ultimately valuable to read. If you visit a website, you probably want to see content that you can learn from, right? That’s pretty much the main reason why so many SEO practices switched over to designing valuable content: the visitors and search engines want to see valuable content.

If you use valuable and authoritative content, your website will become better because of it. Even Google Web Spam head Matt Cutts commented in the past about good content ‘even when it’s not correctly optimized, can trump poor content that’s considered optimized using search engine optimization.’ In fact, he explained that both good content and SEO optimization works best to make a website’s ranking that much better in the end.

So, you’re probably wondering how you can get started writing good, valuable content. If you’re about to get started reevaluating your SEO strategy, remember to:

Make sure your content is well-written. Make sure your content is well organized into readable portions and segmented into portions readable by search engines. Make sure your content is linked with other content on your website.

Just by following those basic guidelines, you can start building an SEO strategy that can help you develop something that resembles an authoritative website. It doesn’t take a few steps to build a long lasting SEO campaign for 2014, but it does take a few steps to put yourself towards a campaign that has the potential to last throughout the year. Good luck!

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