In the world of search engine optimization, the landscape is forever changing. Google has moved to perpetual algorithm changes with occasional major updates that will either shift the weight of certain variables or/and will introduce new variables into the search algorithm. Beyond that, every few years there is a shift in top search engines altogether.
Search engine optimization is one of the core webmaster duties, but with all of this change and very little concrete information on how to rank well, what's a webmaster to do? Well you have three tools at your disposal, your eyes, ears and brain, that can help keep you up to date as the search engine optimization landscape changes.
There are a few different ways the search engine optimization community acquires information and these methods are very similar to those used by the scientific community. The first method is to listen or read. You can learn a great deal about search engine optimization by simply reading through message boards and talking to other SEOs. I'm not talking about reading message boards like you might browse a newspaper. I mean really read. Pay close attention to ongoing discussions and find relationships between what you are reading and other things you've previously read. Think about how it all comes together. Learning from the work that others have done can save a great you deal of time and provide you with a solid foundation upon which to base your theories.
Once you've read until your eyes hurt, you'll have absorbed a lot of ideas and theories. Some of them will make no sense whatsoever and you'll forget those quickly. Some will be true gems, containing truths so obvious and simple that you'll wonder why you hadn't thought of it already. The rest (which will likely be most of what you read) will leave you with questions. They will likely contain some facts and some fiction, all interspersed with opinion. Many of the different ideas that you'll read will contradict each other, with many people offering supporting evidence on either side of the discussion.