In one of my several periods of unemployment, I dabbled in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). One of my neighbors had an e-tail website. He asked if I would help him raise his site’s prominence on Google. I read everything I could find
on the subject. One rule is to provide the best content. If you build it, they will come. The search engines have developed very sensitive ways to measure the respectability and authority of a site, and how well it satisfies their users, based on the search terms. It’s like a courtship between the search engine optimizers and the search engines. The website tries to put on its most attractive face. The search engine doesn’t want to seem “easy.” A search engine optimizer has to be aware of the tricks that other SEOs are using, and that Google has learned about and taken countermeasures against.
At that time, my own site, http://www.statoids.com, had the very respectable PageRank of 5, sometimes straying as high as 6. The PageRank is based on how many other pages link to yours, and how respectable those pages are. So one effective SEO strategy is to persuade lots of other webmasters to link to your site.
You can pay a search engine to boost your site in the returns. I rejected that approach. I felt that offering superior content was more honorable and probably more sustainable. A pitfall to avoid for this site was that he was selling a skin care product. If he made any health claims, the FDA was poised to come down on him like a ton of bricks.