Learning SEO now means being more creative and writing unique relevant quality content that is appealing to the brain of the user as well as fulfill the user's quest for knowledge. Nobody wants to hear boring responses or seeing the same information duplicated elsewhere.
Today's SEO is a richer push for uniqueness and quality of content in digital footprints. Both onpage and offpage SEO by content must be compelling for users and for search engines, and
- must follow search engine webmaster guidelines
Google and other search engines have numerous algorithms and filters to enforce how they want things done in order for your website to rank in their indexation. The better job you (diy) or your professional does with your website's SEO strategy today the better chances to be found.
Back in the day, we could get away with keyword stuffing, hiding keywords in coding, repetitious of long tail phrases to elevate our "SERP / keyword positions" And several other tactics which are very grey to black hat in nature as far as onsite / onpage "SEO".
We also didn't have all the social avenues and or channels offpage that we do today. And back then each blog entry, forum entry, comment on a post - represented a backlink to your website. We would sculp out which links on and off our websites were dofollow and nofollow to elevate our "PR" presence and raise our "SEO scorecards".
Let's face it that "SEO" now isn't the same methodologically dirty tactics of 10 to 20 years ago.