The Google algorthim is actually pretty simple.

Google Ranking Formula:

Relevancy/CTR + Visibility/Links = Higher Ranking

Relevancy refers to several things, including how many OTHER related search terms a website appears in Google’s search results for, how many people bounce back to Google without viewing more of a website, and of course what percentage of people select the website’s listing in the search results over a competitor’s (called click-through rate or CTR).

Visibility and Links refer to how many other websites on the Internet mention and/or link to the target website. If a specific keyword or keyword phrase is being targeted, what percentage of the websites linking to the webpage optimized for a keyword actually contain plain text or image "alternate" text using the search term being targeted. In other words, a quality link to the SEO Expert biography of Steve Wiideman would be one from a similar website on the topic of Internet Marketing or Search Engine Marketing using the keyword phrase SEO Expert or some semantic variation such as Expert in SEO or Expert SEOs.

The battle is typically between the marketing expert and the web designer, but if these two departments can get along, a website can conquer the Google Algorithm and earn high rankings for highly searched keywords. The marriage of on-page keyword optimization coupled with a continuous stream of keyword-rich inbound links will help a website dominate in the search engine results pages.