I Stated a site about six weeks ago in a niche that is quite competitive, Despite hearing all the hype about how building links to fast is bad , only comment on related blogs, do not use duplicate content ,you must constantly add new content, your domain name should be aged, yady yady yah.
I went ahead and broke all these rules, i registered 2 new domain names i broke the rules with one and followed the so called rules with the other,
with the one i broke the rules with, i went ahead and built 5000 backlinks in about 3 weeks, i left comments on all sorts of blogs not related to my niche ( do not worry i did not spam them i actually read the blogs and added value) i used mainly duplicate content on the site, and in no time i was on the firs page of google for 2 fairly competitive terms i was getting traffic and i was selling.
What i did however was make sure my backlinks were anchored properly, i used my main keywords and related keywords to anchor my backlinks.
I used keywords that google told me were related to my keyword to build my categories and made sure my categories were displayed on every page.
I did not ping any of my backlinks i left it to google to discover them.
Seriously do you know any normal surfer who pings their comments or social bookmarks. Only people who are trying to get google attention ping.
I built backlinks to my backlinks (hope that makes sense ).
I varied my backlinks i used blog commenting, social bookmarking ,an article network ( seolinkvine to be precise) and a few social networks.
That's all i did.
The other site i am building links to slowly, creating unique content for, only looking for related blogs and sites to get baclinks from is on page 10 or something , getting verry little traffic and making me no money.
So in a nutshell a lot of stuff you read is very good stuff a lot of techniques i learnt from others actually helped me get my site to number 3 on google and number 1 on yahoo, but if i had just listened to a lot of hype i would have both sites on page 10 , not making any money and thinking internet marketing is hard.
Internet marketing is only as hard as you make it.
Next time someone feeds you some scary hype research it yourself by taking action what is the worst that can happen.
For example a lot of folks say google penalizes duplicate content , this is just BS the only time you will be penalized for duplicate content is if you stuff your website with the same content in an attempt to manipulate the search engines , you will not be penalized if you break down a plr book into different web pages or if you use articles from directories. Besides why would you want to have the same content on every page of your website?
This is googles official take on duplicate content
Duplicate content - Webmaster Tools Help
Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Duplicate content due to scrapers
The second link is to a post that was written 2 years ago and it contains the following quote
"To conclude, I'd like to point out that in the majority of cases, having duplicate content does not have negative effects on your site's presence in the Google index."
So carry out you own research use a fresh site buy a domain name and test it out only then will you know if it's true or not.
Hope you find this useful.