Often Overlooked Tricks for Better Search Engine Results
The real "trick" to search engine marketing is to make it as easy as possible for Google to index and like your site. This usually involves paying close attention to details and making sure everything is clean. Web sites, domain name, they all gravitate to a state of natural chaos if not carefully controlled. Google punishes disorder and rewards extra effort. Here are some things that you can do to show Google you are a professional, legitimate, business worthy of it's high ranking positions.
First, focus on your domain name. Once you've registered it with GoDaddy or any other leading registrar, make sure your WhoIs information is all factually accurate. Don't use any fake names, fake email addresses, etc. Yes, you are going to get some extra spam email when you use your actual information, but that is what spam filters are for. Never use domain anonymizers to block your WhoIs data. That's a good signal to Google that you're up to no good and it should be leery of your site.
Once you get your site registered, do yourself a favor and extend the registration 5 years. It may seem like a small thing, but prepaying for you domain name (@ $9/year) is a great way to show Google that you are in this fight for the long haul. The spammers will typically throw up a site, send out a spam, get that site or IP address blacklisted, and move on to the next Class-C block and next web URL. You want to show Google that you are exactly the opposite of this. Long duration registrations are a terrific way to demonstrate your professionalism and at $9/year, it's a marginal investment compared to the return you'll see with a top ranking.
Another way to show Google you are for real is to validate the physical address you used in your domain name registration. "And how exactly do I do that?" you ask? Ah, this is where the tips and secrets come in to play. Using Google's local listing service for business, you can register your real-world business so that it is searchable in your local area by other Google users - which is just about everyone. Part of this registration will include an address verification step. Google will mail you (snail mail) a post card with a special code printed on it. Simply go back to your Google local listing profile, enter that code, and - there you go. Your address and business name have now been validated in the real world. But again, make sure that this business name and address match EXACTLY with the one on the domain registration.
The next way to let Google know that you're a real business with real commercial intent is to "claim" your domain using Google webmaster tools. Just like with Local Search, you will be given a special verification code that you can embed in your META tags so that you can prove to Google that you are indeed in "control" of the web site. The steps are relatively simple and don't take much time. Simply add 1 line of code to the META section of your front page, click on "verify", and you're done. Again, a search engine spammer would not likely let Google know that they were the owner of a site that employs black hat SEO techniques. A cool side effect of using Google webmaster tools is that it gives you comprehensive reports related to search traffic, it crawls your site looking for broken links, and many other features you'll need to have to be effective long term.
Lastly, try to leave your domain's whoIs information alone. The longer a domain is under the same owner, at the same address, etc. the more "domain equity" you build. If you move, and you move your local search info to your new physical address, make sure you make the similar adjustments to your domain name ownership info. Keeping that link between your WhoIs and local search is critical. Now, if you are buying a domain from third party, you'll have to bite the bullet up front and change the ownership handle on the domain. Yes, that will "reset" some of the value on the domain, but you'll make that value back due to the fact that it will most likely be a domain with your targeted keyword smack dab in the middle. I went through this exact scenario when I bought EthernetOverCopper.com from a domainer. I lost some domain equity when I changed the owner to me, but I made it all back in spades with my targeted keyword search term exactly matching the domain name - with a .com extension to boot.
Isn't it amazing what you can do to improve your search engine ranking without even touching a single line of source code?