So today (still as a self professed IM newbie) I was pleased to see I had reached spot number 2 on front page of google for one of my keywords. Now I deliberately picked one of the least competitive keywords (only like 3 exact per day) as I thought it would be easier to track the changes I make. So I wrote an article for it maybe 2 weeks ago. Put it on my blog. I also put up 2 or 3 web2.0s pointing to it at around the same time. After a couple of days I noticed that one of the web2.0s was on front page whilst the article on my blog was still not indexed. I thought this was useful information in terms of considering how PR affects ranking. After a few more days the one on my blog was indexed but I think towards the back of second page. I think it stayed around here then till I did the next part. So since it was low competition I decided to try blasting directly with SB blasts. I since blasted it with 50k-100k of SB blasts and also linklicious'ed those links. That was in the past 3 days or so. Today I see I am on second place on front page. I checked with majestic which confirms I have 47 links pointing to it which indicates it is indeed the links which boosted rather than just naturally going up on its own (obv. not conclusive but seems likely and will test more in future to get better confirmation). So that is rather reassuring to know. Like I said this is a very easy keyword. I was ranked number 1 for exact right form the start but I am now ranked number 2 for broad. So I have no idea why people say rank for exact and that is where the skill is cos broad is the hardest one to rank for from my exp and the only one that counts as far as I can tell in terms of ranking in serps. I have asked this many times to ppl and noone has answered it... Anyhow I am thinking now it is a case of refining and scaling up. I have a long list of keywords for my niche each with varying scales of competition so I'm thinking of working my way up steadily tackling a little more competitive one each time. I have already written articles for the most competitive ones and have them sitting there. I plan to keep chipping away at those while focusing one by one on the long tailers.