It is same as it was before. The only difference is people using it naively are out of picture now. Only authenticated and smart SEO tactics works.
Smart SEO tactic means understand the context proerly, design your marketing plan based on the context, execute the plan, keep close eyes on how it’s going, review each aspect of success and failure, keep fine tuning based on the retrieved results and keep on monitoring.
In layman’s language, old school SEO is building massive links with mass submissions in directories, and other websites. The smart SEO is crafting the content based on your context, publish it, distribute it, encourage people to share it and link bank to it. Build natural and niche links. Don’t use blind link building as it doesn’t work as it was before.
There are many moving parts to SEO these days. It’s not just link building like some have said. It’s all encompassing from site structure, page speed, navigation, content optimization, social sharing, and much much more.
The problem is we are trying to influence search engines which is the wrong way to thing about it. Try optimizing for your user experience. Create content that is targeted to your buyer personas and shared via social networks where they live. Engage and share with others in the same industry to establish your authority.