You probably heard of people creating second income streams by writing articles on sites like Infobarrel. You sign up for an account and spend hours crafting your article, checking it for spelling and grammar errors and then hit "publish".

You can't help starting to think of all of the things you are going to buy with this fantastic new source of income - maybe pay off your credit cards or take the family on vacation. You reward yourself by getting a cup of coffee.

As you drink your coffee you sit back and you just can't help checking how many views your article has had. You hit refresh in your browser and find that it has had 1 view. You email your friends to tell them about the great article you have just written and the next day you now have 10 views. You start thinking how you can get more people to read your aticle.

You decide to check Google and your article is no where to be found. You start doing some research on how you can improve your rankings and you get your first taste of what SEO or search engine optimization is all about.

Having an article on the first page of Google can mean many things. What words or keywords do you want your article to found for? In general the more competitive the phrase is, the more difficult it will be to get a high ranking. How to judge competitiveness of your keywords? Type quotation marks around the search phrase and you will see how many websites have those keywords.

The next important thing to check is "search volume" if you get one page one for an esoteric search phrase that almost no one is search for, you should get on page 1 of Google fairly easy, but it will result in little traffic, which I am sure is your ultimate goal. You can check the search volume using the Google Keyword Analysis Tool.

Type in your phrase there and you will see how often the phrase is searched on. Obviously the higher search volume the phrase has the greater potential you have of getting traffic to your article if you can get near to the top of the search rankings.

One of the most important things to getting good rankings in a search engine like Google is getting other sites to link to your article. There are websites like Delicious which you can use to add bookmarks to your site, but the general rule is, if a link is easy to get, it will be more than likely have less value. Writing another article on a site like Ezinearticles or Hubpages which links back to your article can be a very effective strategy. It might seem like a lot of work, having to write another article just to get your original article ranked, but it is a good long term strategy.

Google and other search engines like Bing are adding more different content in their search results, like images and videos, so getting on page one of Google can mean many different things. You could create a video about your article and any images you add to your article should have appropriate keywords in the title and description. Having a twitter account which you 'tweet' your article can also help, especially as Google implements real time search into its algorithm.

It is important also to write articles that are useful. Articles that solve a specific problem that people are searching for will do well in search engines and if the article is good enough, other websites will naturally link to your article. Google also tends to rank new content high as it is indexed, so you might see some good results immediately but they may then drop down again as Google ranks your article. If you have some success with an article with either traffic or Adsense, keep building links to it, slowly over time. This can help solidify your rankings.