Many Search Engine Optimisers (SEO) provide useful services for website owners, from writing copy to giving advice on site architecture and helping to find relevant directories to which a site can be submitted.
However, a few unethical SEOs have given the industry a bad name through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results. They may make hollow promises about getting you ranked in the top 10, but the only guarantee of search engine placement is paid-for ads.
There are, however, certain tools a Webmaster can use to improve the relevance of a site to a search engine to improve where it is placed.
Meta Tags can be added strategically within the code of the web pages to inform the spiders which "crawl" through the billions of pages on the internet indexing them, what the page is all about.
The more often your site is updated, the greater your site's relevance. Links to your site from other sites (especially popular ones) will also help to improve your page rank.
Google enjoys the lion's share of U.S. based web searches at over 65% of all searches (up from 55% in 2007 and 45% in 2005), with Yahoo, Bing (formerly MSN), AOL and Ask but no-one can guarantee a Number 1 ranking on Google. Reserve skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines: "Dear XYZ, I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories..."
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google.
There is no priority submit for Google.
While Google never sells better ranking in their search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. This will add to your marketing budget.
Inclusion in Google's search results is free and easy and is is a natural part of the services MMVII offers. Along with relevant meta information there is certain web architecture that needs to be avoided as it can negatively impact on the ability of spiders to find and index your website.