Major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing primarily use content contained within the page and fallback to metadata tags of a web page to generate the content that makes up a search snippet. Generally, the HTML title tag will be used as the title of the snippet while the most relevant or useful contents of the web page (description tag or page copy) will be used for the description.
Search engines may penalize sites they discover using black hat methods, either by reducing their rankings or eliminating their listings from their databases altogether. Such penalties can be applied either automatically by the search engines' algorithms, or by a manual site review. One example was the February 2006 Google removal of both BMW Germany and Ricoh Germany for use of deceptive practices. Both companies, however, quickly apologized, fixed the offending pages, and were restored to Google's list.
The Google algorithm's most important feature is arguably the PageRank system, a patented automated process that determines where each search result appears on Google's search engine return page. Most users tend to concentrate on the first few search results, so getting a spot at the top of the list usually means more user traffic. So how does Google determine search results standings? Many people have taken a stab at figuring out the exact formula, but Google keeps the official algorithm a secret. What we do know is this:
This guide gives you a great start in the world of PPC. It touches on everything you’ll need to start or get into soon after launching your PPC accounts. However, the unofficial motto of the PPC world is “always be testing.” Make sure that you test different features and strategies for your account. Every account is unique, and will have its own reactions to different features and strategies. Of course common practices exist because they’re considered to work the best for most accounts, but you’ll never know until you test.
Another excellent guide is Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” This is a free PDF download that covers basic tips that Google provides to its own employees on how to get listed. You’ll find it here. Also well worth checking out is Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide To SEO,” which you’ll find here, and the SEO Success Pyramid from Small Business Search Marketing.