Google finds hundreds or thousands of page matches for a given phrase. Google orders those results based on popularity. Popularity is based on PageRank – the number and quality of links directing to a page. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites. Other factors driving popularity include professional experience (the age of the domain name), proximity to the searcher, positive reviews, and a good user experience (quick load time).
The fastest way to move up the ranks is by being featured on other sites.
The second half of the cookbook includes many recipes for generating more links.