Google and SEO: The Real Story
The secret to better rankings and more traffic is being (or looking like) the cool guy in your neighbourhood.
Search engines build their results based upon relevance. Your use of keywords is important, read How To Dial In Your Keywords, but the other major contributing factor is whether the search engine has determined that you are a part of the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is all of the related sites to a search topic. A search engine will find out whether you have links from other popular sites within a neighbourhood and this will greatly influence your search ranking.
How to get into the Neighbourhood
Think of the neighbourhood as different ares in town. You need to show the search engines as many reasons as you can that you are a part of that area. The proof that you are in the neighbourhood is how many other relevant sites have links to you (the more popular the better).
This works well for internet marketers because not only does having links within the neighbourhood increase search rankings but it also builds natural traffic from people visiting other sites in the neighbourhood. We need to recognise the sites in our target neighbourhood and leave our mark on them in any way we can.
Cool By Association
Being in the neighbourhood is good but if all your friends are losers, (sites with no traffic) then you wont be cool either. Just like when the popular kid at school hangs out with you, if a popular website links to you, then your ‘cool factor’ goes up.
The ultimate is when the most popular site within your neighbourhood links to you. This is like William Shatner talking to you at a Star Trek convention. An online example would be the most popular blog in your niche linking to your page. Not only does this give you a lot of traffic from that site but also google recognizes your new coolness and increases your search ranking.
To learn how to really establish yourself in the neighbourhood check out the Web Traffic: The Essential 10 Step Checklist post.
Any More ideas?