Any sufficiently advanced technology is always indistinguishable from magic. This adage is particularly true in case of the Internet. People surf the web daily but have no idea how the web works. They know the theoretical aspects of servers talking to each other and exchanging data. However, they have no idea how search engines, the core of the web today, works.
Whether the technology is SEO or the latest Tmobile coverage map, people will believe anything about the web. Say that search engine and its manipulation is a part of dark tantric arts, say it convincingly enough, and people will believe you. Despite this handicap, people are in a position to use the web and search engines without any difficulty.
Well, an ordinary user of the web may not face problems. However, a person wanting to earn money directly on the web or through promoting his or her business online cannot afford to think like a layman. To presume that search engines present results on the first few pages by random selection makes no sense. There is a clear and precise logic to the rankings.
Sadly, it is next to impossible to know what the logic is. If search engines were to disclose this information today, manipulation would begin the very next day and the search engine would be rendered obsolete.
This means that you will have to play a game no different than blindfolded chess. The only difference is that you will have no idea where the squares are what the move is. You will have to use established precedents and common sense to reach the top of search engine rankings. Once you reach the top you will have to work a lot harder just to remain immobile.
Outsourcing this task to third parties may seem tempting, but you must analyze the cost and benefits before making a final decision.