SEO is an evolving beast, and to successfully tame it, you have to constantly evolve your strategy.

As many of us know all too well, what worked five years ago doesn’t necessarily still work. Social media and blogging have come to be the primary SEO link drivers, and the tricks of bulk link building that worked ten years ago isn’t likely to work anymore.

All the same, there are some basic SEO elements that haven’t changed. If anything, they’ve become more important as search engine algorithms continue to emphasize quality over shortcuts.

Here are four of those SEO elements. Even if they’re not exactly new to you, consider this a refresher course on how to stay on trick with some SEO fundamentals, even as the search engine marketplace continues to grow in new directions.

#1. Think beyond Google. “As a general rule of thumb, no more than 40 percent of your referred traffic should come from Google because any significant change is bound to have a negative impact on your bottom line,” writes Garry Przyklenk at Search Engine Watch.

“When you consider how long it can take to notice and recover from an SEO penalty for even small mistakes (such as server downtime, bad navigational links, forgotten redirects, etc.), putting all your eggs into one basket substantially increases your risk.”

Easier said than done, right? Today, SEO is often synonymous with Google. Google’s got two-thirds of the search engine market share, with Bing and Yahoo (now the same company) coming in at a distant second and third place.

But thinking beyond Google doesn’t necessarily mean marketing to Bing’s algorithms. It could mean spending more time on Facebook and Twitter.

#2. The benefits of community. The social media revolution isn’t really that new, when you come to think of it. Social media hotspots like Facebook and Twitter are basically the next stage of evolution for forums and chat rooms. And affiliate marketers have always thrived on community sites. It’s what fuels the popularity of sites like Affiliatevene Guard Dog and Poker Affiliate Listings. Even Casino Affiliate Programs started as a forum more than ten years ago.

So don’t be intimidated by social media. Think of it as an extension of your forum presence — a casual way to network and get backlinks and strike up other link-sharing agreements.

#3. The importance of keywords. The better you can connect search patterns with the keywords you market to, the better your SEO performance will be. Period. Fresh content and social media are great, and important, but SEO is still mostly about the keywords you use.

If you devote enough time to marketing to keywords and advanced query performance, you can build SEO power out of almost nothing. And marketing keywords well also helps your conversions: If you successfully marketed to specific keywords and phrases, you’re doing a better job of providing your visitors with the content they were searching for. And they’ll be more likely to click your links as a result.

#4. Fresh content. If you’ve forgotten this one, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention to the Casino Affiliate Programs blog — or all the other voices out there preaching the same gospel.

Now more than ever (especially since the Google Panda update earlier this year), it’s the unique, fresh, and regularly updated content that wins the race.

Forget duplicate or plagiarized copy — everyone knows that’s a bad idea. What we’re seeing now is search engines favoring articles that are not only original, but fresh, stylistic, and regularly updated. It’s as though Google’s suddenly a content critic.

And that can be frustrating if content isn’t your strong suit. But don’t despair: Social media, forums, and conferences exist to help hook you up with people who can do what you can’t. Trade your skill, whether it’s linking or design or whatever it may be, for the services of a good writer, and you’ll have this covered.

The last word is yours …
Can you think of any other SEO tactics that have only gotten more important with time? Sound off and let us know your thoughts and what you think the future of search marketing may hold.

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