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What Results Are Possible Through SEO?

There is often a misunderstanding (due in no small part to SEO sales people) in what a search engine optimization campaign can realistically accomplish. As stated multiple times, elsewhere on this site, search engine optimization is not magic, nor is it an exact science where an action will have a specific and completely predictable reaction. With this in mind, no search engine optimization company can produce high rankings for its clients by simply offering directory submissions, and half-witted articles written by college dropouts who hire out their writing skill so unscrupulous SEO companies for pennies per word.

The below table will provide a means of quick reference as to what SEO can reasonably accomplish, and what it cannot.

What can SEO accomplish? Great things! But there are a few catches
Things SEO Can DO Things SEO Cannot Do
Improve the search engine friendliness of your website. Make your website irresistible to search engines so that it will rank for any keyword you desire.
Improve your website's ranking for a well-researched group of keywords over a period of months or years. Improve your rankings for the most competitive keywords in your industry within a few weeks.
Improve your website's rankings by utilizing a well planned and executed search engine optimization campaign, which will cost more than you would have guessed. Improve your website's rankings by using run-of-the-mill services such as free directory submissions, and "article writing", and doing it while keeping the cost no higher than your monthly budget for your morning coffee.
Leverage well written, useful, helpful, entertaining, or otherwise interesting content to mount a successful link building campaign which will result in ranking improvements. Leverage low-quality content that your nephew "wrote" (i.e., copied and partially reworded from Wikipedia articles).
Optimize your website's textual content by incorporating a select number of keywords into the text (not keyword-stuffing), and utilizing the new text to develop an internal link structure which helps magnify the importance of those keywords for the search engines. Optimize your website's content by using a secret keyword density (that only SEO's know) and help your site shoot up in search engine result pages for your most desirable keywords.
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