When you think of search engines, you think of Google. For this reason, the 'Big G' is the most popular search engine on the web and if you're looking to develop your own business online, perhaps through a course of SEO, you simply cannot ignore it. In the UK, Google searches account for over 80% of all searches made and so, you can no longer rely on the likes of Microsoft or Yahoo to deliver sufficient visits to your domain. Perhaps the most important aspect to any course of SEO, is that of link building.
The practice of link building is notoriously laborious, with significant time having to be spent on targeting appropriate sites which offer opportunities for you to have your site mentioned and linked to. Interestingly, the reason why link building is so important, is down to Google. The guys at Google decided that the best way of determining the authority of a site was to gauge the number (and quality) of links which point to the pages on that particular site. The higher the quality of the inbound links, the more authority the site has. Since this gauge was set, search engines across the web have followed suit and written inbound links into their algorithms. Of course, Google's algorithm is far more complex than simply considering the value of links.
There are several thousand aspects to a site which make a difference to it's ranking potential. Many of them are carried out on page (but on the most part, these techniques can be carried out by spam sites too), but the real quality lies in having an SEO specialist sit down in front of a computer and uncover real quality, genuine link opportunities. Don't employ a cheap, off-shore SEO company promising 1,000 links per day - there's a reason why they're so cheap! Instead, choose a local agency or specialist who can demonstrate their ability through previous work.