|"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain|
Search Engine Optimization is as much an art as a science.
In these articles I will give you a lot of information on how to optimize your website as well as how to build a social network. However, the scene changes often. As Google and others change their algorithms to help them present more relevant results to the searchers they have to keep up on those who will find ways to scam the system.
There are two camps in the SEO business. White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. The White Hat camp tries to get the best rankings by following the rules and not resort to methods that go around the rules set up by the search engines. Black Hat will do anything they can to get higher rankings.
So, why not just do Black Hat SEO? Well, for one, if Google finds that your website is not going by the rules they can, (and often do), ban your website from their service. Then you have to go through an appeal process to get back in. This is not an easy task.
The issue to the search engines is that there is a lot of competition between search engines. They make their money from advertising presented on the pages of results. If they have more people using their service they can charge more for the advertising, like a newspaper and their stated circulation. The more circulation a paper has the higher the advertising since more people will see them.
The search engine with the most consistently relevant results will draw more searchers to use them. Those who fall prey to the Black Hat and return results that are not relevant to the searcher’s query will lose users. In this business the search engine with the best results wins. There are a LOT of companies that will guarantee that you will get first page listings on Google and others. They will charge you an arm and a leg to do so. Most times they will get you high rankings, but when you check the next week you are nowhere to be found. When you call them they will say that they got you the high rankings, but did not guarantee for how long.
Also keep in mind that each keyword, (see my article on what a keyword is), is ranked separately. So these Black Hat SEO companies will charge you for the rankings of one keyword or phrase. Additional keywords will cost more. If you sell auto parts you might rank #100 for “auto parts” since there is so much competition for this keyword. Then you might rank #1 for, say, alternators. This is a more specific keyword so there is less competition.