SEO is hard now. Actually, it?s only hard for those affected by Google animals. This cat-and-mouse-dance around best link building and content strategies is awkward. This is why some skilled web marketers- with several years of experience even- are throwing in the towel on search engine optimization. On the other hand, some are searching for answers? ?What do I need to do differently?? I don?t have all the answers, but there is one perspective I want to share. No matter how you do it, SEO is just a marketing strategy. If you do SEO, then it is everything to you. If your goals are to help businesses reach top organic placement in search engine results then you eat, sleep, and breathe SEO. That?s natural. However, don?t get swept up in believing that a #1 placement will make your client a billionaire. SEO is just one way to get discovered. Truly successful businesses focus more on brand awareness. The biggest mistake you can make is focusing on the awareness, and forgetting about the brand. That?s exactly why these SEO strategies fail: Spinning content so it passes a plagiarism tool before publishing on your website Buying links to increase Page Rank Counting keywords to keep density below 3% This isn?t about white/silver/or black hat SEO. Successful SEO strategies don't neglect branding, and long term success: Original content gives brands a unique voice. You can?t fake personality! Every single back link should be an opportunity to introduce your brand to a targeted audience. Nobody likes or trusts a brand that spams, right? Quality web content is about a topic, not a keyword. (Putting the priority on testing placement means your web content and articles will be enjoyable- not awkward- to read; without sacrificing the SEO score of each page) As a writer, my focus and expertise lies in quality content. Those words are used-- and abused- quite frequently in this forum. Once again, I don?t have all the answers. But I am going to explain what I do know., and hope you at least consider this information as one way move forward. What Does Quality Content Really Mean? First, I want to ask how you would answer that same question? It seems the typical response among black hat SEO providers focuses on: ?US English, no spelling or grammar errors, must pass copyscape...? Bla, bla, bla. If that?s the best you got? raise your standards and you?ll see a huge difference! Mediocre content can pass plagiarism tools and be free of errors, but let?s be honest? mediocre content is boring to read. My answer: Quality content is not boring! After Panda, most people realized that ?quality content? is required to be successful. But the standards for ?quality content? is still remarkably low if you?re expecting any $5 writer to deliver content that truly engages readers. After Penguin, people are a little less trusting of article spinning and prefer to do it manually. Okay, I get that it?s cheaper. I get that you?re working with a tight budget... But fifty of those mediocre articles won?t generate half the return on investment as just one true quality article. I dare you to compare the results in a side by side test. Real quality content is the reason that so many well known brands don?t even worry about SEO, yet dominate the internet. Did you know that Matthew Inman used to work in SEO/web marketing? More importantly, he doesn?t apply any of those skills to ?The Oatmeal? comics. He doesn?t need to. His website gets about 7 million visitors a month. Just saying.