After months of reading SEO books, listening to podcasts by SEO professionals, and reading dozens of blogs on the subject I’ve learned the following:

1) Google is a fickle* and sometimes cruel lover, therefore we should focus less on trying to please Google and more time romancing our site visitors.

2) People drive themselves insane** obsessing over Google algorithm variations when their time (think ROI and the dollar value of YOUR time) would be better spent focusing on the basics like writing helpful and compelling content, link building, and good clean presentation.

*Google does not disclose their algorithms (although they occasionally issue partial information that is subject to change) and apparently parts of the algorithm are only triggered in some situations.

**Website developers and SEO experts freak out every time Google issues a statement even though they know the information is designed to discourage folks from manipulating the system.

So what’s the take away for small business owners and their websites? Don’t waste your time trying to manipulate the system, and instead focus your attention on pleasing your potential customers.