If I could go back in time and visit myself at the beginning of the year I am sure that I would point and laugh. This year has seen big changes for me and the way I have been approaching and doing SEO. It has made me change almost everything I do; it has made me really think about what I do and how I do it. Above all this year has made me re-experience the passion and excitement I first felt when I was just starting out in SEO.
Although I am the oldest in the office, I am kept young at heart and full of enthusiasm because of what I do and, when done properly, what SEO can do for a business. There is no drug so powerful as the feel-good reward you get when you know what you are doing can make a big difference to someone else’s life.
To celebrate this I have put together a few old sayings and how they have related to me and the SEO industry this year.

Quality vs. Quantity
There is simply no substitute for quality, there should never have been, but sadly this has not always been the case. Spammy content and spun text has been sent to the SEO gallows. Links coming from sites that have Spammy content as also bad for the health of your site.

Site Beauty Is More than Skin Deep
The way we do on page is constantly changing; a site that is going to do well in SEO will have to have a good base to work from. Clean code, faster page speeds and the quality of the content is very important. Sites need to be built for the user in mind not Google.

You Will Reap What You Sow
What content you put on your site now is more important than ever. Good quality content in things like you blog will help your site. Well written content will help your site get shared on social networks which will in turn have an effect on your rankings.

Better a Live Chicken than a Dead Hero
Today’s SEO engineer is a cautious creature; the days of the SEO cowboy are long gone. There are consequences to our actions. A bad link can pull a site down in its rankings. What is happening on the page that you are trying to get a link from is very important.

Empty Vessels Make the Most Noise
One of the most important things that I have learnt this year is this; there are many people out there voicing their opinion about what is going on in the world of SEO. Some of them are totally unrealistic in approach or ideas while others are based on speculation. I don’t pay too much attention to them anymore. I try things out myself and see what works. Experience is a far better teacher than information passed on by someone else.

I think the best way to sum this year for me is the change of focus from Google to the user. SEO is growing up and becoming more holistic, you have to merge together all the different parts of SEO into one –on-page, content, Social, link building. The site you build has to offer what it promises to do. Good relevant content that is easy to access and offers value to the reader will naturally tend to do better than sites that do not offer this. Your site has to be alive and constantly evolving.

There is nothing magic about this, it is just common sense – if you want people to use your site, you have to give them what they want. Get this right and Google will love you because Google wants what your reader wants!