Whether you're trawling the Internet for information about the new World of Warcraft release or for homemade remedies for halitosis, you probably punch your query into Google's waiting hands. When the search engine returns your desired results lickety-split, you might scan the first two or three pages, check out a few sites and, satisfied, call it a day. You probably don't dwell on how or why Google returned those results to you, but anyone with a Web site does.
Appearing on the very first page of Google's search-engine results page is the Holy Grail for businesses and individuals interested in boosting their site traffic and online visibility. If you're running the Center for Breath Treatment -- an actual organization! -- you're psyched to have your site turn up on that first page when people search under "halitosis." That's why many people have spent many hours trying to decode Google's algorithm. Aside from some tips on strategically placing keywords, linking to other Web pages and providing high-quality content, having your site appear on page one Google after users type in a related query is still partly luck for most of us.
To learn more about the algorithm that may be more closely guarded than the Colonel's secret recipe, read Why is the Google algorithm so important?