I do the google adwords and I post like crazy on JavaRanch and various Hibernate and Newsgroup forums, providing what I think are helpful hints and advice, but still, my sites don't rank as high on Google as I think they should.
I did some searches on Google Optimization and found this link on the subject at www.jeroenwijering.com
I try most of the things mentioned, many of which I sorta came upon myself, without actually being told to do it. (Just makes me feel smart, that's all.) One that I do alot is the "Place your Keywords" suggestion:
"Place your keywords
The most important elements to insert keywords into are the URL (domain name + path + filename) and title of your web page. Also, a low-level URL (www.mysite.com/page.htm) is considered more important than a higher level URL (www.mysite.com/subdir/anothersubdir/page.htm). Check out the Dutch website Nu.nl for a good example. Notice how every newsitem has it's own title in the titlebar and how every item's html file is named after its title. These tricks make you score!
It's also important to use your keywords in the body of your site, frequency (a lot) and proximity (close to each other) are important. The higher in a page, the more important a keyword is considered to be. Text in headline (h1 or h2), bold or caps is considered more important than regular text."
The other advice that is suggested, that I think I've been realizing, is that updating your homepage is important. Actually, it's not so much THAT SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tip that caught my ire, but instead, the comment that came after it, which mentioned that blogs or weblogs tend to get ranked well.
"Tech and formatting tips
First, make sure your site, especially your homepage, is frequently updated. Google seems to like frequently changing websites, this might be why weblogs tend to score very well at Google.
Second, make sure to have a lot of incoming and outgoing links (especially to and from big, relevant, high-quality websites). If something can be a link, make it a link! By doing so, Google will rank you pages higher as others who are not that embedded. This link relevancy system is called Google Pagerank. You can check out your pagerank at pagerank.net. Pagerank works on a scale from 1 to 10. If you have a rank of 1 or 2, you're likely to be way down the search results. If you have a higher rank, your site will appear at the top of the search results, even if there are a lot of competitors for your specific keywords or business."
That seems true. I'm always annoyed to see crappy blogs with questionable content get ranked higher than my pages that hit a given search criteria right on the head. I guess that's part of the reason why I'm blogging right now.
One thing I think I might do is spend some time taking my mock certification exam site, my Servlet and JSP tutorials and my Hibernate3 and JPA tutorials and converting them into blogs. Then we'll see if they get bumped up in the Google rankings. After all, sometimes I feel like my site is a tree falling in a forest without anyone hearing it. The content is great, but what's the point if I don't get any decent web traffic?
Oh, and for future reference, here are a few neat links from that page from jeroenwijering.com:
Check out the Wiki page on Search Engine Optimization