SEO has changed a great deal in the last 10 years, all of the algo changes have led us to the point where the best way to get the greatest results is to actually have the most relevant site, with quality content and lots of natural incoming links relevant to the specific niche.. That together with some decent articles, and some social media add some decent bookmarking and plan for long term results. There is no point chasing short term results anymore.
The search engines will always catch you out in the end... The days of stuffing keywords into meta tags, and gaining thousands of backlinks from software are long gone.
The future of SEO is bright.. Instead of manipulating search engines like many SEO's were doing years ago, concentration now goes into making a website actually worth its position in the SERPS, and making the site the best and most relevant site for the particular search query.