Don't think much has changed since I last looked (roughly about six years ago.)
An article in the Guardian on Saturday said that meta keywords won't help your site acheive a higher ranking, unless you own a machine that lets you travel back in time to 1995.
Google ranks your page according to the number and quality of its links.
And so content is still king.
Still, I can't help thinking it's not this simple. How was I able to get top of Google for a two word search string after just one day? Wasn't it just because no-one else in the whole world was putting those two search words together?
I'm actually talking about one of this blog's first posts. And I know my posts were 'visible' because client's web watchers had picked up on them. But to get the top of Google like that? What's the story, there? Isn't it just a uniqueness thing? Or had loads of people linked to my post? I just don't believe it was the latter.
So there's one way of topping Google: just write about something no-one else is.
And that' perhaps the point Aida Edemariam finishes on in her article in Saturday's Guardian, The Most Popular Story in the World.
PS. And if you're writing headlines for the web, you may like to avoid your clever, poetic stuff even more than usual, because clever, poetic stuff isn't how people search.