The visibility of a website determines its market reach and this is determined by how well your web pages are positioned within search engines and how other relative sites link to your website.
In the earlier days of the Internet you could get high search engine rankings by optimizing your META tags, however today this process of garnering top rankings is not so straight forward for two primary reasons.
Search engines have advanced and search engines have become commercialized.
The various promotional methods we employ cover the most common methods used by website owners to promote their web sites. You should first you should read the following.
Search Engines - Advancement
A few years ago, the search engines could be tricked into giving pages higher rankings, with the use of techniques such as creating "doorway" pages and web page "cloaking", which resulted in non-relevant results being returned in the search engine results. This still works on some search engines but the major ones have improved their ranking technology to exclude such web pages from their indexing. Also more and more sites have been established, so it is now much more difficult to achieve top search engine rankings.
A search engine is judged by how relevant its search results are, so search engine companies have continually tried to improve their technology to return the most relevant results. One major advance they made was to include
"link popularity" as a factor to rank web pages.
Link popularity tries to estimate how popular a website is compared to other websites in the same category.
Search Engine - Commercialization
As the number of websites online has increased, so has the difficulty of maintaining a good search engine ranking, and the search engines have capitalized on this. Most of the major search engines now list "sponsored", "featured" or "paid" results at the top of the search results.
This pay-for-ranking model was originally implemented on a large scale by GoTo.com which then changed its name to Overture.com. Major search engines such as MSN, AOL, Google, etc... display such pay-per-click rankings at the top of their search results in return for some of the click-through revenue.
A website owner bids for "keywords" or "key phrases" at a pay-per-click search engine and if their bid is high enough to give them them top spot on the pay-per-click search engine (PPC), the website will be displayed in the search results whenever someone searches for that keyword or key phrase on the PPCs partner sites (eg: MSN, Google).
Although search engines have become commercialized, on average 70% of the first page of search results on most search engines are spidered results as opposed to being sponsored or featured listings, so it is still very important to optimize your website for search engine spidering.
Note: Most PPC search engines currently rank the website according to how much you have bid for a placement compared to your competitors for a particular keyword. Some pay per click search engines have introduced a PPC model which charges a flat-rate per click and ranks the web pages based on their relevancy. In our opinion this model should be adopted elsewhere as search engines realize that their core business is to provide relevant results and without that they will lose their user base.