Google’s algorithms are so complex that no one person at Google knows the whole story, and they change around 500-600 times a year! That means trying to get to the top of Google can be a constant struggle and there are things that you can try, but no guarantees.
For instance, having other places on the web link to your website boosts your kudos, but a link on a BBC news article will have a lot bigger effect than a link on your mate’s webpage. In fact if you are caught playing the system by undertaking in ‘black-hat practices’ (such as meaningless link-swapping with your mate’s webpage) you can be penalised on the search-rankings! Furthermore Google looks at what surrounds that inbound link: if it is a load of unrelated content, then that won’t help your rankings as much as if it’s nested in a paragraph about your industry sector.
As you can see from that one example, Google’s robots are trying their best to distinguish real, relevant content, so quite often the best thing is to make sure you’re writing real, relevant content!
If you’d like some further help with this or some of the other aspects of SEO such as using sitemaps or Webmaster Tools (Google bots love being fed some human-generated data) give us a call and we can set aside some time either to analyse your site ourselves, and/or give you some further training.