Obliged? OBLIGED?! :)
I'll give my "How to Master SEO and Google in 3 months" speech for the Nth (and probably last) time.
Those who've heard it before, will either ignore it (again),
take personal offense (again),
make excuses of not having enough time,
or have already applied it.
Step 1. Stop visiting any and all SEO boards for 3-4 months.
Step 2. Pick 20-40 keywords related to one's site.
Step 3. Pick 100-200 somewhat random keywords completely UNrelated to your site and industry of various keyword competition from extremely hard to extremely easy to rank, adwords bid prices, etc..
Step 4. Build some sort of "database" of the top 20-100 sites of chosen keyword terms.
Step 5. Take screenshots of SERPs everyday or so and up to every hour during major SERP "churn" or updates.
Step 6. Use any basic SEO software to keep daily track of links, keywords, anchor texts, etc of top 10-20 SERPS of all pages for keywords.
Step 7. Spend every available moment for the next 3-4 months pouring over data until 4 out of 5 dreams every night involve something having to do with SERPs.
Step 8. Like any "skill" your mind will start seeing "patterns" and making intuitive jumps about the "hows and why" of why one site suddenly jumped 10 spots or lost 5 spots...
"was it the site making changes or Gorg making changes?" etc
Step 9. Use knowledge to rank at will for ANY term.
Step 10. (Optional) Test, test, and test some more to get advantages well before anyone else knows what's going on with changes in SERPs/Algo.
TIPS ALONG THE WAY.
A.) If one chooses to read SEO boards for more info AFTER the 3-4 months ---
Get over one's emotional responses. If one is caught up in HOW the material is PRESENTED instead of IF the material is USEFUL, one is never going to master SEO.
As some here know, i PURPOSELY post in an abrasive, condescending, sarcastic manner with ACCURATE info as a contrast to the many SEO GURUS and GOOGLE EMPLOYEES who are "oh so friendly and likable" while they easily:
- giving you incomplete information,
- giving you false information,
- giving you their opinions based ONLY on their 1 - 15(if that) sites/keyword groups they study.
- taking your money so you buy their next SEO guide or membership site
- whatever other motivations people have for doing stuff (fame, power, saying they know "so and so")
How can one be in the up-and-down, emotionally draining career like SEO if one ego's and emotions get easily swayed?!
Poker, Stock trading, and SEO all chew up and spit out those who let their emotions get in the way of seeing information clearly.
B.) My favorite analogy for mastering Gorg or SERPs SEO is MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)
Anyone who's ever played these games knows:
1.) Unless you started the game when it first came out, you're almost always "behind" someone else's character - ie. domain age, sites that have been SEO'ing for years
2.) There's always some 19yo on the other side of the world that plays the game 24/7 and only spends time power-leveling with 10 different characters. Heck, she may even have bots leveling her characters.
THIS NEEDS TO BE YOU.
The only way you're going to "beat or catch up" to this person is by playing the game when she's eating dinner, out with friends, etc
ie. those sites that are #1, have authority, big budgets and actively try to keep their positions
3.) Like every MMORPG, there's a learning curve. But if you PLAY enough (ie 24/7 for a few month) you eventually learn "how the heck that guy is killing all the monsters with one blow, when it takes my character 10"
and learn all the secret, intentional "power ups" and unintentional glitches/cheats.
4.) Once you master the game, and can finally talk $hit to the 16 year old in Asia who used to pwn you, there usually comes the EXPANSION MODULE (ie. algo update).
If you've mastered the basic game, the expansion module may be confusing AT FIRST, be it's the same basic programming and rules as the original game.
Therefore, the learning curve is shortened by multiples compared to those just starting the game or those who only play on the weekends and in their free time.
5.) Now until your willing to put in the 8 steps don't be annoyed when the "Level 145 Demi-Goddess Arch Magus of Divine Fire" doesn't want to share all the secrets to BEATING HER CHARACTER at the game.
THATS NOT THEIR JOB.
It's YOUR JOB to play 24/7 LIKE THEY DID,
get to around Level 100+ and then you'll find those higher level characters looking to help you/share their hard fought knowledge with you.
Suddenly they want to know where you got your "+20 Machine Gun of Nuclear Fire Power" in exchange for giving you the sequence to beat "Big Bad Boss of Level 120".
Now, I could have made the same analogies about any aspect of business success, but I use MMORPG for a certain reason.
As some MMORPGs are MORE complicated, challenging, have more variables than figuring out Gorg's Algos.
And at the end of the day, it's all about the 0s and 1s when it comes to organic SERPs. Humans may program the game, but once's it's in the code, the GAME(SERPS):
** doesn't give false, misleading, or incomplete advice,
** have no ulterior motives or subconscious programming,
** are always TRUTH, if even only for the moment they are showing.