Q:

How do websites improve their search engine rankings?

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Quick Answer

Although websites have used tactics such as keyword stuffing and link spamming to boost ratings in the past, search engine algorithm updates now require relevant, specific, evergreen and original content to show up high in search results. Social media presence is another factor, as are legitimate links to similar websites.

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Full Answer

Relevant and specific content delivers on the promise of the header and metadata. This is the information that search engines use to access a website and includes keywords, tags and domain names. For example, a search query about buying used cars in the state of California typically displays relevant websites close to the top. It's a good idea to use Web page titles that are similar to likely search queries.

Evergreen content is content that remains relevant for a long period of time. Examples include how-to articles, information about historical sites, and other data that doesn't change or that changes very little over time. News articles tend to do well at first, but rapidly fall in search results.

Original content is content that has not been previously posted. Although everything is based on what came before, adding a unique view to an article aids in search results. Duplicate content, conversely, penalizes webmasters and can result in legal action should the original content owner pursue it.

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