Let me introduce you to a guy that owns you. Clearly I'm being a bit theatrical, but in a sense it is true. Let me introduce you to Matt Cutts. Matt Cutts is the head chief boss guy at Google for the Web Spam team. That's the team in charge of making sure you get results that are not considered spam.
This is the team that decides not only which type of sites you see in the results, but some people may think that this team is more in charge of the sites you don't see in the results. The ones that get blacklisted or de-ranked, the ones that disappear from the Almighty Google Index.
Matt Cutts. Love him or hate him, that's up to you. The web, or at least the people that care about their website being found online seems to be at polar opposites in this matter. I think the majority of people in the business don't like him very much.
Personally I don't dislike the guy and I don't particularly like him either; that is not to say that I dislike him. He seems like a nice enough guy. He reminds me of a long-ago boss I had. He speaks with a very methodical tone, he is a diplomat. He is here to tell you how stuff is happening, without really telling you how stuff is happening.
Your job is to read between the lines. Pay attention to what he says as much as how he says it. If you are even remotely serious about developing your website to make you money, you need to watch every single video Matt Cutt puts out. Here's one of the recommended videos by Matt Cutts.
How WordPress and SEO work together for better Search Engine Results.
Forget the notion or idea or rumor that he is hated by the entire SEO community. What's important here is that this guy is the liaison between you and Google. He is the guy that tells you what is good and acceptable and what is not. When you hear about "Panda" and "Penguin" or "Hummingbird", these are the versions of the current algorithm of Google's search engine. Matt's in charge of this.
As far as I'm concerned, the information he provides is really good. So you should stay on top of his video posts. You'll find them in a couple places:
So there you have it, I introduce you to Matt Cutts. Subscribe to the Google Webmaster videos linked above and pay attention to the videos he shares. They are golden nuggets of information. You could even use them to review your next SEO company if you want to outsource your online marketing or SEO.
You could get acquainted with the top viewed videos and learn about SEO, you could get the basics down in about 2 hours of videos. Then ask the agency or person you're interviewing the same questions you saw Matt Cutts answer. They should be very similar if you want to have someone help your business and do it in a way that will survive the next Google update.