3 SEO “Rules” You Definitely Shouldn’t Break

Editor’s Note: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a topic that we get a lot of questions about, and it admittedly can be a bit confusing for beginners. To help, we spoke with Goldstar’s SEO director Anthony Ferrara and asked him to outline three SEO rules that you’d be wise to follow (or risk your site being penalized by Google). For more SEO advice, click here.

No good comes from trying to game the system. Photo credit: "Game of Skill," © 2011 Mark Fischer, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license.

No good comes from trying to game the system. Photo credit: “Game of Skill,” © 2011 Mark Fischer, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license.

No. 1: Don’t try to “game” the system.
Tactics such as buying backlinks to influence your rankings or creating a lot of pages that are optimized for specific keywords, where the sole purpose is attracting search traffic to them, may work in the short term but can penalize your site if you get caught.

No. 2: Don’t buy links. 
It’s best to acquire links organically, through news coverage, social sharing, leveraging your relationships with industry partners and performers, and customers blogging about your shows. Search engines may penalize your site if they find that you’re paying for links or using other dubious tactics to generate them.

No. 3: Write for your audience, not search engines. 
Regarding content, the first priority should be to write about something that your audience will find engaging and will want to share. Putting time and effort into producing quality content that contains photos and videos, in addition to text, will be more likely to have long-lasting benefits, whereas mass-produced content for SEO will most likely have short-term or no benefits at all. It can actually lead to search engine penalties in some cases. Of course, your content should be optimized by including relevant keywords, but the writing should be done with the reader in mind, not the search engines.

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