The point is that Search Engines do not want sites to be ranked well in their results due to clever tactics, rather because they are relevant to the search term or phrase. In the past Search Engine Promotion businesses would tick a few boxes including meta information, keyword rich title tags, keyword rich domain names and lots of mentions of the search term or phrase in the content and sit back and watch the site climb up the rankings.
Things have changed somewhat since the early days and while title tags and meta information is still an important part of any search engine friendly website the most important factors are content, content, incoming links and content!
Beware of any SEO company that promises you number one ranking or even page one ranking for a very competitive keyword or phrase. Carefully analyse any search term that they suggest to you. Remember that being ranked number one for the phrase 'aviemore handmade blue cups" is much easier than being found for 'scottish pottery' and although both may be applicable to the website, you must take an educated guess as to which one the searcher is likely to be typing into the search engine.
Top five ways to get your website banned from Google:
1. Hidden text or links
2. Misleading or repeated words
3. Cloaked page
4. Deceptive redirects
5. Doorway pages
Google includes important information on Search Engine Optimisation here