In the past few weeks I've been researching how to get high rankings on google and yahoo. It turns out that there is a whole industry called SEO which tries to get websites into the top 10 of Google.
The industry is mainly self-employed consultants who help small businesses and ecommerce sites crack the resulsts pages for their desired searches. Some of these people appear to make a very good living doing so.
There are also some consultants who help less reputable sites that try to make money by affiliate programs of porn, viagra type supplements, illegal drugs, gambling, etc. Most of these consultants are going for spam ways to get their site to the top of the rankings as quickly as possible. Sure, they realize that their site may get banned in the future, but in the meantime they make a quick buck.
But here's the funny part of it: as far as I can tell, no one has really figured out Google's algorithm. These professional consultants just clean up a website's code and help websites create inbound links. The more seedy consultants do similar things, but they employ alot of spam in order to get their inbound links.
I've successfully gotten several sites to #1 on google before, with some search terms being fairly competitive. In all my research the past week, I've picked up some techniques to fine tune websites (non-spam techniques, mind you, I wouldn't do that), but nothing groundbreaking.
It's surprising to me. I guess I could start an SEO business as well, as I know how to get to the top of the rankings.