The first thing you need to understand is patents. Understanding how patents work will give you a competitive edge over your competition. The thing is, when a patent is granted, the SEO world gets all worked up. More important is when the patent was filed. If, for instance, a patent was filed in 2002, then the search engine most likely started implementing those changes from that date.
But, they may not have changed anything. What we can take from a patent is the way the search engine company is thinking. What are the trends? What’s important to them? Where is it leading? It’s a dumb move to look for specifics, but by looking for the mindset of the creators, you can get something out of it.
Know how search engines work. Search engines are tools that organize information and make it available to us. Knowing how they index and find information is important. This isn’t the place for an in-depth discussion, but a lot of it has to do with keywords. Here’s a website that can help to know how to choose keywords.
These are a few things to get you started. Check back for more practical SEO advice.