This guide is not only an overview, it is very specific, filled with tips and personal experience. This will make a lot of sense to you and give you a better understanding of SEO and/or revitalize your efforts. You can succeed!
*I posted this elsewhere on the net weeks ago, but feel it's a solid writeup and would help the community here at Webmaster Peers. This is my writeup, and if not acceptable to repost please delete, thank you*
ONpage SEO: You first must get your ONpage SEO setup with unique Meta data: Titles/Descrip/Tags should all be unique and relevant for EACH and every page. This will tell the SE's that your pages are all different and worthy of being indexed. This will give you more pages indexed which then gives you more interlinking power. Interlinking means linking to your own website with the appropriate anchor text; rather than click here or "wallpaper" your anchor should be specific such as "sexy wallpaper" and all links should not be competing against one another.
In other words /sexywallpaper should be the only page that exists for that visual page. It shouldn't look the same to the SE and a visitor as /sexywallpaper788f323 . Be sure to properly redirect everything to ONE page. When you have 2 pages that exist the SE gets confused and you will ultimately lose ranking and/or split up your linking power.
Sitemap: I constantly see people saying they are being deindexed. One of the best ways to avoid this, is to setup a sitemap which tells the SE's your pages exist, are unique and need to be accounted for. You can even create a "ghetto" sitemap where you have each and every page of your website linked to a section of your site. Then all you have to do is get backlinks to this page via bookmarking, blog commenting, or whatever to ensure the SE crawls this gigantic list of advanced sitemap links and indexes you properly.
Now that your Onpage SEO is complete, the more your website grows the more scalable it has become for not only indexing, but SERPS and proper website hierarchy structure to ensure a solid PR flow to the pages that matter. *You can get really specific and No follow certain links on your pages but it's not necessary most of the time*
OffPage SEO: Offpage SEO deals with Link Building. It is typically factors you have no direct control over (at least not as much as the Meta data). For this reason SE's, especially Google weighs Offpage factors heavily, which allows the power of the internet (the people) decide what is the most popular and best website for a certain keyword or phrase. It then takes these votes (links are votes in a way) and checks them against your websites Meta data to ensure the results are relevant. This gives the best results on the internet and the system is the best of both worlds. Sidenote: Bing and Yahoo are heavily influenced by Meta data, and keyword stuffers prevail. It is essentially a directory because it doesn't scale with popular opinion, but that's another discussion.
Since building links on the internet is not as easy as changing Meta data many question HOW do I start link building?
Link Building Methods (most common):
Link exchanges (I avoid these)
Buying links (I avoid this)
Which method is the BEST? is often asked. The simple and 100% truth of this is the website which will exist one year from today. Thousands of directories I submitted to in 06 and 07 don't even exist anymore. Hundreds of blog comments wiped in an instant of a webmaster deciding to go "no follow" and dozens of articles thrust into the abyss of the parked domain world.
30% of all your link building efforts will be a "waste" of time a year from now, but if you do NOT link build you will be essentially losing 70% of new links. You don't KNOW the future, so you have to spread the odds. If you don't have an established list built from what specific sites work and which ones don't you should begin with the oldest sites and work your way towards the newest ones. ***This means sorting lists by date if applicable***
Directories: If you are new start off with directories (That's how I started years ago). They are straight forward and simply enter the title of your website. A great list can be found at directory critic as well as vmoptions. You can sort by date, so start off with the older established ones. By the time you get to the "front" of the list you will know if its been parked or redirected to their ****** website.
Articles: You hear people tell you how they make thousands spinning articles, or how article marketing is dead. The truth lies in the middle. Write UNIQUE articles PLEASE...I noticed articles from earlier on in the SE history picking up each and every instance of an article. The algorithm is getting better and you are wasting your time trying to pump out rehashed versions of the same thing. So now you have a well-written unique article. Send the same article out to multiple directories and forget spinning it. Quality articles get circulated all the time. Why should yours be any different? The links will get counted at the high PR Article directories. Ezinearticles is the top dog of the list so start there.
Social Bookmarking: Most of us will never get the mass traffic from these sites, as most of them are dominated by an oligarchy which originally helped build them, but don't let that stop you from trying. The key is building friendships within networks. As far as links go, that's what most of these are for: Links. Don't get it confused. There are hundreds of Social bookmarking sites. Submit your inner pages to help get them ranked.
Press releases: Haven't released my Press releases yet but my list is only about a dozen or so Press Release websites versus the 1000 strong article directories that exist. Free and Paid options exist. I'm assuming the paid ones are mostly scams unless they can get you into Google News.
Blog commenting: If anything will make you want to strangle another webmaster this has got to be the holy grail of "hahah, got you". Time after time I see blogs turning to no follow after years of being do follow. This is the proverbial go F yourself message and disdain these people have for their readership. Granted spam can hit them, but they should understand and accept the challenges with a do follow blog...that's how they got their readership most of the time right? Only comment on a select few established blogs. I have stopped doing it all together because of rampant no follow/parked domains but there is always a diamond in the rough. Commentor Beware!
Forum posting: Mostly used for brand awareness and networking. I notice many of the threads which get indexed later get deindexed (forums have a dumb amount of pages which constantly get indexed/deindexed) which makes your sig link meaningless for that particular page. Again I suggest posting on well established forums such as this one...Imagine writing all this and finding the forum no longer exists...OUCH!
Link exchanges: Get tons of requests..not sure if Google hates it or not but seems like it can be tacky. For bloggers I recommend interlinking at the end of posts with similar niches though, i.e. you write about blue whales and he/she writes about killer sharks.
At the end of your post can say "Check out my friends blog about (anchor text killer sharks)" linking to their blog. You will double your readership and backlinks, and it's just good business, not any crazy scheme. Get together 5 or 6 bloggers on the same page and you can leverage some awesome traffic/readership.
Buying links: Looks like it can get expensive, and I'm not in this to spend $$$ but make it . Plenty of free links to go around, but I can see instances where it's used for marketing/branding and not just SERPS, so I don't crucify or blink an eye when someone does it.