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Just answer yes or no, I'm just curious.
Webmasters and SEO's might find hidden gems in terms of authority back links websites, but other than that your website, and any other, are at the visual discretion of anyone who chooses to view it, so it is pretty much exposed and would be difficult to hide anything overall there.
There are other "secrets" that are really tips - practical things that are helpful to know, at least for the moment until the conditions change. Some of these conditions would change very quickly if they were made public knowledge, so they do tend to be closely held.
A classic example from the early days of Google was the power that H1 tags used to have. When that news got around, the tag was so abused that Google stopped using the H1 as a relevance signal.
[edited by: tedster at 6:43 pm (utc) on Jan. 14, 2010]
I still think it is very importaint to watch what the competition are doing. They also know your industry.
That said, it is open for anyone to copy our work, but in my experience the people that don't know how to do it will miss the important steps - either in the timing of the steps or the objective altogether.
Most "secrets" that come out on forums come out because they no longer work or don't work as good as they used to.
It helps also to take steps to make sure that your potential site users know about what you have built.
Most "secrets" are spam and short term and not worth knowing anyhow unless you are a spammer. There is no secret to long term SEO. There are some link secrets. People might know of a good place to get good links. There are some on page techniques that might help you a tiny bit but a few extra links will beat that. All you need to know is that getting lots of good backlinks will get you to the top.
I don't know *any* onpage stuff at all. I know a few good places in my niche to get some good links fast - but only because I spent freaking' years looking for links in my industry. And I have two somewhat unique content development things that I do that attract links - and the one I posted in the supporters forum just before Christmas (and I didn't develop the idea either).
The techniques are readily available on this forum. The odd specific application is what you'll get by attending pubcon. For example, you might see Martinibuster give some specific examples of 'here's how I find places to link to'. But nothing you couldn't figure out oneself.
I think the only real secret is hard work and applying yourself. that I know for sure works. I gave up on finding secrets a long time ago. I don't know any, nobody's ever shared any with me and I've managed to rank just fine without them thanks.
I often see posts here re things that are really irrelevant to rankings or essentially irrelevant, but obviously the poster does not know they are irrelevant or have little to no impact and there are many areas where time could be more well spent than whatever they are asking (or complaining) about...
I think the best advice given is WhiteKnight's: (In 'Short' or 'Paraphrase')
Interestingly, most of the answers people need are posted here or on the SE's Websites, which indicates people just aren't doing the homework to know what they are doing well enough to know what they are doing...
Most "secrets" are spam
and short term and not worth knowing anyhow unless you are a spammer
Whitehats can benefit greatly from selective grayhat tactics. I think a lot of secrets pertain to getting links in different ways, so unless links in general become worthless, I don't think you can make a statement that all gray links are useless. There are other "questionable" tactics beside linkbuilding that have been making people a lot of money for a long time (just check the top results for many competitive queries) and laid the foundation for entire businesses. You just have to be smart/selective about it.
I personally don't like the answer "if it's spam it's not worth knowing" - it certainly has been to some.
Now particularly on SEO, I think the first step is to go through the the forum library of the Google Search News forum (some of the old threads are still spot on) but do not neglect the invaluable information available in the link building and other forums of this site.
Don't think I've ever used any other site for obtaining insight from market leaders and industry experts on SEO.
The biggest secret I've learned in the last year is how to proofread my own documents. :)
Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone [webmasterworld.com]
I note that even before the "sandbox", Brett's post was talking about "in twelve months", and not "next month." And that post, far from being kept secret, was even published in the book "Google Hacks".