There is so much similar content written about SEO. I have read miles of it and it all sounds like the same thing written differently. Maybe there are loads of SEO consultants out there trying to rephrase what is already written to create 'original content' that is just duplicating what is already said somewhere else, but saying it in a different way. The general consensus seems to be if you write good content, you will do well. Well, I wrote load of content for my sites (weddings with a wedding planning section, dog friendly site with a dog walking and places to visit with dogs section, and a ghost site (with loads of ghost stories and interesting goings on at my castle in South Wales) and I reckon Google took no notice for years. Nowadays if I look on my computer I always find myself on the top, probably because the results are skewed in my favour on my own searches as it 'remembers' me and the sites I like to visit (my own!). My mobile phone has an uncanny ability to list my sites at the top of Google too, but I don't trust it - it also knows where I go and probably sends me results tailored to my preferred sites. I am currently reading that building up backlinks is good, well I have no idea if this works either, though I certainly would not bother with directory sites which you waste hours listing yourself on and which I have never heard of. The one thing that seems to work is having an established site over many years that a reasonable number of people look at. I think having visitors stay on the page for longer also helps, as it tells Google the page is of interest to people. So the adage to create original and good content holds, in this respect, if it can hold the attention of the fickle visitor. Adwords can be useful for boosting visitors, though organic visitors spend a lot longer on the site than Adwords generated visitors. I do notice my sites seem to creep up the rankings a bit for searches in line with the Adwords campaign, almost as if the extra traffic generated by the campaign gets the site seen more and once it is seen more, it creeps up the rankings. We are all really in a crowd of people waving our hands in the air trying to get seen by our customers. Some markets are highly competitive and getting seen is a right pain as the questioner says - "extreme pain". I actually enjoy posting articles so whether it works or not, I am gradually adding back links at the rate of 4 or 5 a day on average. One thing I have found works is having separate sites for specific more narrow niches. The ghost site does well for searches on Halloween Night.