If your website got dinged by Google earlier this year (or if you want to make sure it doesn't get dinged as they continue to tweak their algorithms), you may be wondering what you can do about it.

Yesterday, SEO testing fanatic Jerry West wrote:

Most web masters who are having the most success overcoming Penguin are saying the same thing "¦ they are getting back to SEO/Marketing 101 and doing the little things right. I cannot emphasize this enough. Doing the basic things right will lead to a faster and more complete recovery.

Just above that quote was a list of five of the "basic things" -- making sure each page on your site has a unique title, updating stale content, etc. (Follow the link to see the others).

Now, I know there are exceptions. There's always going to be some cheater out there who comes up with a way to win. For a little while. And when they fall, another cheater will climb to the top of the heap. For a little while.

But if you want to hold steady in the SERPs without having to perform major surgery on your site every time Google gets the hiccups, it always comes back to publishing great content and getting legitimate links. There are other details that figure in too, but the basic core of sustainable SEO never changes.

Why would it?

If you can come up with a valid answer to that question, my next Blog Riff will point to your site.