IanCP - 7:29 am on Mar 19, 2012 (gmt 0)
To me as a "white hat", SEO merely meant making your site "search engine friendly".
That is, your page gave a succinct <title> of what it was all about followed by a <description> which fleshed that page out as to what it was really all about.
To me that was, [partially], what SEO was all about.
This was further literally "driven home" to me many years ago when I was researching one of Australia's biggest companies sites looking for information I desperately needed. It was indeed a most tortuous path.
The corporation's pages contained very detailed information on their manifold products. I found that after "drilling down".
By many standards of the day, it was the epitome of web design, factual, little bumpff.
Frustrated, viewing the source code of every page [100's] revealed a uniform?
Description? Non existent.
No wonder Google hadn't been particularly useful. That was around 2004.
I honestly felt sorry for the web designer of one of our largest corporations, I gave him/her a heads up.
With what result I don't know because I had my needed data.