Myth #2: Search engine optimization alone will result in good ranking in competitive searches.
Doing well in competitive searches primarily depends on off-page factors – factors not directly modifiable by the Webmaster. Why? Because we webmasters are all trying to tweak our pages so they will appear at the top of the SERPs. The “customer” of the search engine is the person performing the search, not the webmaster trying to promote his or her site. Not the business owner looking for leads. Not the spammer trying to make a quick buck. So the search engine engineers look at other factors to determine the quality, importance and authority of the websites they list in their results. What are some of these factors?
Domain Age: How long the domain has been registered by the same entity. Search engines, especially Google, look at this as a trust factor and will give a significant boost to sites that have been around for a while.
Domain Registration Length: Registering your domain for only one year will penalize you as a possible spammer. Domain registration is inexpensive, so register all domains you plan on promoting for at least two years.
Incoming Links: Link juice, link authority, PageRank and backlinks all refer to this important measure. Links pointing to your site are a vote of confidence in your content. The more reputable the site that links to you, the more weight that links carries in the search engine algorithm. Links must be relevent to the context of your site.
Hilltop Authority: In a nutshell, hilltop authority is comparative a measure of how many times a web page is referenced in the initial search engine result set by other web pages in that result set. The rank of the initial result set is based on various factors such as keyword relevance and the other off-page factors previously mentioned. The search engine then reorders the result set giving a boost to the web pages that are linked to by other pages in that result set.