By Brent Peterson

Is there really a difference between what is considered good SEO and what many people might say is bad SEO? Does it really matter? What we're looking for is results, right? We want high search engine rankings and customers coming in the door thanks to that page one search engine ranking. At the end of the day, that's all that really matters, right?

Even thought it might be mighty tempting to try some of the new methods that are being introduced every year or every month, it seems, there is no substitute for solid SEO practices. What might get you quick results today might actually come back to bite you tomorrow. What will you do when a method that was working great two months ago become saturated or falls out of favor? While some methods might stick, it's old school SEO methods that should be your bread and butter when it comes to websites that you care about or your client's websites. It might be hard work but sticking to the rules when it's important is the only way to go.

There really is no reward in any aspect of life without hard work. This can also be said about search engine optimization. Getting quality backlinks from websites that hold authority in your niche while providing quality content for readers isn't easy. Hour upon hour of thinking, learning and writing articles that are then submitted to other websites in the hope of gaining a few high PR backlinks can get tiresome and frustrating. In the end though, all that hard work will pay off and you will be able to reap the fruits of your labor. In time, all of that hard work will result in high search engine rankings thanks to the quality backlinks. These backlins are worth hundreds if not thousands of times more than low PR backlinks that anyone can get that might actually be gone tomorrow after a big change in the rules from search engines like we have seen in recent times. Ask me how I know!

These days, a website can be on the top today and gone to the pit of hell in the SERPs tomorrow after a change or a manual website review. If anything seems even the slightest bit sketchy, your site can be penalized or even deindexed in a moment. Now imagine that happening to a client's website. Imagine someone paying you to get their website ranked and all you have done is damage their reputation and lost them income thanks to a few shortcuts that you thought wouldn't harm their site because everyone is doing it. Say goodbye to your own SEO business!

There is no easy way to the top and it will always require some sort of sacrifice. Hard work will always prevail and while it may seem like you're not getting anywhere at times, top rankings often take you by surprise and happen just when you're ready to give up. When the time comes that the search engines change the rules you might even find that in spite of the fact that your high rankings disappear for a short while, your traffic never drops off. This is because you are still getting visitors from that quality content that you have created on other websites. Your rankings may come back and they might even be better than they were before thanks to all of your hard work. Just don't panic and look for a quick yet temporary solution to the problem in the way of bad SEO practices.

When it's all said and done, it's good quality content on your website in conjunction with solid backlinks that lead to success when it comes to search engine optimization. There really is no shortcut. It's going to require some hard work and it might take several months before you start to see the kind of visitors to your website that you want but in the end it is worth it. Methods and new tools may come and go but there is no shortcut to good search engine rankings other than solid SEO practices.

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