SEO. However you slice it, search engine optimization is something that you’re going to need to know at least a little bit about if you’re going to put your business on the web. The problem is that, when it comes to SEO, there’s plenty of conflicting information available. How do you know what to trust? Well, rather than telling you who you can trust, let’s take a look at the flipside: who shouldn’t you trust when you’re looking for information about search engine optimization? • The SEO Guru. You know you’ve seen them. The SEO guru is involved in forums, has a website that promises everyone that they can get to the top of the listings – regardless of how much competition you have for your chosen keywords. For that matter, you can sometimes find SEO gurus offering their services on eBay. The guru will give you the sense that their way is the only way, and that without their services you’re not going to get anywhere. • The writer who promises that his or her book will tell you everything that you need to know about search engine optimization for your site. Because the ways that search engines work and because the big players change their methods from time to time, looking to a book – particularly one that was written years ago – is unlikely to give you the answers that you need. • Of course, the number one person who you shouldn’t trust with search engine optimization for your site is someone whose own site isn’t exactly performing at its peak; think about it, if their site is on the fifth or sixth page of search engine results, how good can their tactics really be? I don’t mean the site they use to sell seo services. I mean ask them if they own a site that sells products or services other than Internet marketing that do well in the search engines and makes a profit. Looking for the key to search engine optimization can be a lot like looking for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow: there’s a promise that it’s there, but chances are good it’s going to feel like you can spend all of your time searching and not much time getting results. The reality, however, is that the key to SEO isn’t nearly as elusive as a pot of gold. While there may not be one trick, one technique, that guarantees you the search engine optimization results that you’re looking for, there is one thing that is key to making your way to the top. That key is fresh, informative, useful content. Simply by providing those who visit your site with quality content – tips posted to your daily blog, web pages that are easy to navigate and clearly written to address a particular topic, appropriate photos and even forums where site visitors can connect – you’ll find that the search engine spiders keep coming back for more. The more that your site is crawled – and the more information that it offers – the more likely it is to make its way to the top of the listings. The more that people learn about your site, the more traffic that you will have and the more links into your site that you’ll receive. Traffic, links and visitors – along with content that keeps them coming back – are the key to your sites success.