I was shocked (and a little chagrined) to discover recently that I'm the 3rd listing if you Google "Virginia poet." Since I consider myself far FAR below the status of... say... any Virginia poet laureate, all of whom are barely visible on that first results page. Obviously, they're spending their time actually WRITING POEMS rather than improving their search rankings. LOL!
I've also risen recently to 4th, directly below Virginia Hamilton, if you Google "Virginia children's book author." Further refine that search to the Hampton Roads area, (which includes 10 cities with a population nearing two million), I'm the first listing.
I think the recent rise is because I've been doing a little more blogging lately. My rankings weren't too shabby before but they have risen some since getting back to blogging.
One more tip: When you name the homepage of your site, (or heck, you could do it for all the pages) put in a lot of info you'd like the search engines to find. You'll notice at the top of my site, the title of the homepage is ridiculously long: "Kim Norman--Hampton Roads Virginia poet, children's book author and illustrator--Jack of All Tails, Dutton."
The person who helped me design my site is a smart cookie who knew that, around the time my site went up, 3 or 4 years ago, search engines were changing the way they listed rankings to get around the sneaky folks who were artificially inflating their rankings with unrelated links, (like posting a sort of "drive-by" message to very popular blogs, for instance.)
She said engines were also paying less attention to meta tags, since people were putting "hot topic" unrelated tags in their code -- like "Britney Spears," -- but they WERE paying attention to page titles. So my smart cookie web lady said, "Nothing ventured... let's see how much relevant description we can cram onto the title of the page."
So that's probably why I beat out most of the REAL poets in Virginia. (Poetry judges have always grudgingly given me 2nd & 3rd place wins, NEVER first place, since they consider my stuff light verse rather than "REAL" poetry. I guess this is my one form of revenge. Google considers me a poet, at least.