The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said \u201cchange is the only constant in life,\u201d and that couldn\u2019t be truer when it comes to search engine optimization. That said, even as SEO evolves, there are some things that will never change. Knowing what these are will give you a focused, long-term vision of where you should put your SEO efforts. Without further ado, our Atlanta SEO experts are here to provide you with four key ways that SEO will never change. 1. Search engines are always striving to create a better search experience for users. When search engines first came onto the scene in 1993, the primary goal was to help users sift more easily through an ever-expanding world wide web to find what they\u2019re looking for. Fast forward nearly three decades \u2014 search traffic has become crucial to businesses trying to remain visible, relevant, and profitable in their respective industries and niches. As a result, search engines have adopted additional goals and implemented new technologies that more or less revolve around helping businesses make money. However, despite the \u201cmoney talks\u201d reality of our increasingly digital world, one thing that reputable search engines remain fairly steadfast on is the commitment to putting the experience of users first. Over the years, website owners and SEO professionals have regularly bemoaned the unmooring caused by shifts in Google\u2019s algorithm. But the reasons those shifts happen is because search engines like Google are trying to continuously refine their algorithm in order to provide the most relevant and high-quality results possible to users. What does this mean for you? It\u2019s actually pretty simple. As you\u2019re putting together your SEO strategy, you need to be asking yourself: \u201cDoes this SEO tactic complement Google\u2019s primary goal of putting users first?\u201d 2. Success from Black Hat SEO tactics is always short-lived. There are no shortcuts in SEO, and there is no \u201cone simple trick\u201d to make your site rank number one. If anyone is telling you otherwise, you\u2019re probably dealing with someone peddling black hat SEO tactics. While black hat SEO isn\u2019t technically against the law, it is against recommended best practices laid out by search engines. Examples of black hat SEO include: Keyword stuffing Bait and switch schemes Cloaking and sneaky redirects Article spinning Buying links Link farms and \u201cprivate blog networks\u201d Spammy comments and fake reviews Even if you\u2019re getting results from a Black Hat SEO tactic, it likely won\u2019t last for long. Google is really great about identifying unethical tactics, and once they find out you\u2019ve been engaging in black hat tactics, not only will they put a stop to it \u2014 they\u2019ll penalize you for it, too. If you\u2019re not sure if some new trick you\u2019ve discovered is considered \u201cBlack Hat,\u201d ask yourself the following: \u201cIs this tactic working because I\u2019m helping users solve for what they need, or is it working because I\u2019m gaming the algorithm?\u201d You can also refer to Google\u2019s Webmaster Guidelines to review the basic principles and no-no\u2019s to avoid. 3. Search engines always need to be able to crawl your site. This one is pretty obvious \u2014 if a search engine like Google can\u2019t crawl your site, it can\u2019t index you, and if it can\u2019t index you, it can\u2019t list you in search results. How exactly does crawling work? Naturally, Google does a great job of explaining it in laymen\u2019s terms: \u201cThe web is like an ever-growing library with billions of books and no central filing system. We use software known as web crawlers to discover publicly available webpages. Crawlers look at webpages and follow links on those pages, much like you would if you were browsing content on the web. They go from link to link and bring data about those webpages back to Google\u2019s servers.\u201d Once your site has been crawled, Google uses a complex algorithm to evaluate keywords, links, freshness, and other attributes of the page. These attributes play a huge role in how well you rank for certain keywords and topic. There are many reasons why Google may be having trouble crawling or indexing pages your site. Are you blocking crawlers? Is your site missing a sitemap? Do you have too much duplicate content? Is your site super new? Here\u2019s a pretty comprehensive list of all the reasons why Google isn\u2019t indexing your site. 4. SEO best practices will always change. Yep, SEO best practices are always in flux \u2014 and that\u2019s one way SEO will never change. When you beginning focusing seriously on your SEO work, you quickly learn that your work is never truly done. Even if you find yourself ranking at number one for all your desired keywords, it requires effort to keep yourself there. Not only are competitors also vying for those top spots, but Google is always tweaking its algorithm and introducing new technologies (such as Google RankBrain in 2015) that change the game. What this means is that you must be prepared to respond to changes in best practices as they come and, if necessary, change course. Ready to level up your SEO game and WordPress Support? Southern Web's SEO experts are ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services.