SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has always been about three things: Content, Site Architecture, and Inbound Links. If you’re doing those things right, chances are, you’re going to rank well for the terms that you’re shooting for within your content; if you’re missing something from these three, then you’re probably not where you want to be.
And believe it or not, if you’re doing things correct to start with, all those changes that Google does, really don’t effect you. Both the Panda and Penguin updates aren’t really “new” things… they’re really busting people for stuff they shouldn’t ever have been doing in the first place, which is basically trying to cheat by using crap content and cheap links.
SEO, if you think about, really isn’t something you should sweat separately. If you have a website, even if Google didn’t exist, you would want to create great content for your users to read, you would want to make sure you site was built properly so that users could use it easily, and you would want to have links to your site so other people could find your site. These are all things you should be doing anyway, even if SEO wasn’t a thing.
The hard part with SEO is figuring out what not to do, as many bad links and bad content strategies can actually hurt your rankings. So basically it comes down to your knowledge and if you really have educated yourself before you try to do your own SEO. After that, the other hard part would be to make the time to do all that is necessary as it will be a time consuming process. So if you do not have the time then the only option you have is to hire someone.
I do not provide SEO services and only do it for my own sites. But, if you are looking for a reputable SEO provider, I highly recommend Submit Express, who I have worked with back in the day. Just don’t hire someone that tries to fog you in with the mystery and make sure they tell you exactly what they would do for you for what they would charge you. Good luck. 😉