Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website's search engine ranking. The picking and choosing of what order a site appears in search results is actually determined by a computer program (algorithm). Everyone wants their site to appear at or near the top of search results but getting highly ranked is not easy or guaranteed. What makes one website more relevant than the other is kept secret by the various search engine companies (Google, Yahoo, etc) and is constantly changing, but through studies and analysis web designers do have a good idea as to what factors help improve (or hurt) a site's search engine ranking.

Some of those factors that may effect a website's ranking include how many other well established websites are you competing with and for which keyword searches? Trying to become the #1 Google search for a focused search like "buy computer parts in Nome Alaska" is going to be much easier than trying to get in the top 10 for a very broad search like "buy computer parts".

googleAccording to Google the most important SEO factor is CONTENT! Do you have a skeleton of a web site or do you have a site that is rich with text, articles, images and other content? So if you sell vintage work shirts you might consider writing some articles about how to clean shirts, how to sew on patches, the history of your company, a terms and conditions page, etc. To get content ideas simply take a look at what others (who are ranked high in the search engines) are doing with their sites.

Some factors are unavaoidable. For example a site that has been around for 10 years will be regarded as more relevant than a brand new site. If you are an upstart computer parts retailer then trying to upstage Amazon.com, NewEgg.com, and TigerDirect.com out of the top of search results is going to be next to impossible.

Also an existing site that has been penalized in the past by search engine for various reasons may have a hard time at becoming relevant again with the search engines.

YOUR QUETION: Can you guarantee that my site will move to the top or near the top of search results? We don't provide SEO services, however in designing your website we will seek to optimize your site's keyword density. It will be up to you to promote your site.

YOUR QUETION: If I spend money to advertise on Google will they give me a "thank you push" in their search engine after my advertising period is over? Again, the finer points as to what makes one site more relevant than the other is a closely held secret by the search engine companies. Most web designers agree that advertising will not help your ranking afterwards. Google has stated that paying for advertising will not help however some web designers beg to differ. If paying for advertising with Google helps at all then it is a very small factor.

FACTS: 60% of web surfers click on the first 3 search results. Of those sixty percent 42% of them click on the #1 search result, 12% click on the #2 result and 9% click on the #3 result.