SEO is a game of Russian Roulette that many of us play, and lose. It's also not a game we can truly ever win. There will always be someone bigger, better and with deeper pockets who can out rank you. That, and Google is notorious for changing it's algorithm. This makes SEO a game, a risky time consuming game each of us play. My advice? Do your due diligence and then get out. Do SEO only ever so often to keep things chugging along nicely; otherwise you'll turn into a slave of the SEO Rat Race.
What is the SEO Rat Race?
The SEO Rat Race is the endless cycle of SEO we get into. Let's say we created a high quality article. We then ‘SEO' it and optimize it. It eventually get's ranked. Then someone comes around and takes your article, we writes it, SEO's it more and and ranks higher than you. Then you do more seo, more backlinks more posts; and in turn so does your competitor. And the cycle continues. Then comes Google with an algorithm update and all your effort was for nothing. So you start again and so on …
It never ends and it's impossible to win. Can you come out on top and rank well? Sure, it's possible. But you better be prepared to throw months of time and a crap-ton of money at it. How much time and money required depends on your market, keywords and competitors. Even if you some low competition keywords someone will come around sooner or later and outrank you simply because they can. If you don't have much time nor money to work on SEO, then your best bet is to stick to quality content and only do a small amount of SEO.
If you have lots of money to use, I recommend putting it to better use than SEO. Such as press releases, books, articles, networking, advertisements and media buys. If you have lots of time on your hands, I recommend doing some SEO and educating yourself on the basics though after that it'll be wise to focus on high leverage activities such as creating quality content, networking and improving your overall corporate image.
This brings us to quality content. Without a doubt:
Content is king.
What is quality content? It's content that your reader truly gets some great information from (like this article), is thought provoking, isn't what anyone would consider spam, is generally written with proper grammar/spelling and all the proper language cues and overall it's just not crap. It can be a video you made yourself, article written for you, or other pieces of media that can benefit the reader.
People are more than happy to give you their time. So don't bother with SEO stuff (for too long), do things that have a much bigger impact.
I'm just tired of all the crap that's out there on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Most articles I see are crappy rehashes to old content without adding any real benefit. Plus most are written without any forethought. Which makes me sad because they then generally don't add anything to the conversations on social networks. Kinda really sad.
If any of you guys know groups or social networks that have real quality content to read, real people to interactive with and real quality articles please let me know. I'm getting desperate to find like minded individuals.
P.S. Hacker News is one of the only few places I found some good discussions and articles.