One of the tactics offered by many SEO consultants is to write articles linking to you and get them published on other websites. In moderation, when the sites which publish them are good ones, that’s great. But of course, it’s also just what we traditionally call ‘PR’.
The problem comes when the articles are poor, and the sites which publish them are equally low quality. Not only can the exercise be pointless, it can actually count against you. So if you’re approached by some outfit which reckons it’ll churn out articles for you, ‘place’ them on mysterious sites and in doing so “get you to number one on Google”, politely decline their kind offer.