SEO or CEO
I am cautious every time I hear that SEO is a profession. Many people see it as a full-time activity (like programming), talk about abilities, surveys, mathematical rationale, "golden rules" and so on. All this seems impressive on the first sight, but I still see it as a temporary role and not as an equivalent to other full-time positions within a team of dedicated people.
As new trends appear, people on the look for higher income quickly blow up new roles into professions without really understanding what hides behind them. Two months after that they start to call themselves "experts" in an attempt to attract new and solvent clientele. Such behavior is everything else but professional.
I think that when we design our websites for people, SEO automatically takes care for itself. Optimizing a site the other way around is mostly a waste of time—search engine spiders rarely live longer than humans and their algorithms change every couple of months. If we design for spiders, our visibility results will always be temporary, unstable and anything but persistent. When we generate content for humans, it will be read long after multiple search engines and their spiders have disappeared. Through our content we can't improve spider's lives—only humans matter. Doing full-time SEO won't leave anything behind us—search results are subject to constant change. We only lose our time.
Providing valuable content is actually doing effective, unconscious SEO. When it is consistent, descriptive, specific, logical, social and in line with our long-term goals, we can be sure that it reaches others and improves their lives. There is no point in using countless word repetitions, ghost text or tricks that work only in the short term until copied by other sites. If that's SEO, it's clearly not for me. I'd rather be a CEO.