This takes a lot of work and dedication, but is doable.
You need to focus on your SEO ( Search Engine Optimization) by creating quality content, keyword targeting, quality back links, etc. Also things like website speed and mobile responsiveness play in.
Johnathan and some of the others here can give you so good pointers, also check out the WMS blog.
Reread my first sentence. If something sounds like a super easy trick, stay away. If some says they can put you in the top results, for a short/competitive keyword in one month, run away. Using blaxk-hat trucks and even buying links from spammy sites, can get you penelised by Google/Yahoo.
Do some reading, keep asking questions, and put in the effort to do it the right way, and you will success.
If you already know which keywords you want to rank for then you have half of the battle won, if not then do some keyword research to find keywords that you want to rank for.
The next thing you must do is to analyze the competition to see what you're dealing with. If the top 10 results are just forums threads, yahoo answers, social posts and some low quality blogs or websites with no proper SEO then you know it won't be hard work to rank for that keyword.
If you only see blogs and websites with no forum threads or question and answer websites then you have to check those sites SEO. Check their on-page SEO then after you must check their off-page SEO. Depending on your experience you can be able to determine whether you can outrank them or not and how long it will take you.
Some keywords may require a couple of months while others will just need a few weeks.
Do some proper on-page seo for your website and make sure you have high quality content that is worth sharing online. You must also submit your sitemap to Google and Bing webmaster tools so that these search engines can index you site. This will help yahoo, bing and google know about your site and they'll let you know if your site has some errors that might affect your rankings (you'll get error messages).
Have good metadata for your pages to make it easy for search engines to know what your page or post is all about. Also have a good on-page linking structure (internal linking) for your website.
Once you have the on-page part set then you can now move on to off-page. Get other websites to link to your website. If you have good content then you can use social media, blog commenting and forums to drive traffic so that people can generate some organic backlinks for you.
You can also do some guest posting to get some traffic and backlinks, they might not be strong backlinks but they're good links (depending on the site you're guest posting on). Avoid adding your site on the author resource box, have your link within the article and link to different pages with each guest post.
Get some resource pages with dead links and ask the webmaster to replace the dead link with yours or ask for link exchange. You can go around begging for links or simply create your own private blog network.
The more high quality backlinks you have the better chance you have to outrank your competition. You don't need thousands of backlinks, just a few quality backlinks will work. Not crappy backlinks like social bookmarking, yahoo answers, forums, blog comments, directories (most, not all are bad), article submission, profiles etc.
You made an excellent point of not using author res box which is an obvious indicator to G with efforts to game the serps... So indeed one needs to be real careful to minimize such footprints...
Even worse are dodgy SEO's who rank client sites for keyword terms that no one is searching for and has no competition - local SEO is a particular area which gets a lot of this... So indeed it is hugely important to identify keywords which people are searching for and above all converts...
Finally I think its worthwhile pointing out that one should not build an online business which depends entirely on G's search traffic... The best approach is to diversify your traffic sources e.g. social networks, video marketing, email marketing as well as ads... In fact its much easier, profitable and safer in the long term with quicker results...
I personally dont give a sh** about G, for me its more about targeted traffic and increasing conversions... In other words I would prefer to have less traffic which converts to sales than lots of traffic which does nothing... That said I still enjoy gaming the serps ;-)
From my experience, its easier to rank a site on page one of Yahoo than it is on google. Google seems to have more factors going into their ranking algorithm. Elcidofaguy hit the right spot...though traffic is important, conversion is very important too
It depends on efficient efforts you have to put to achieve this in Google whereas yahoo its much easier to achieve it compared with Google.
For yahoo or other search engines, optimize your website well like all needed matters. Then do some OFF page SEO like Article submission, blog posting or web 2.0, forum signatures, guest blogging, press release, image sharing and contents curation.
Use unique content is most significant in all SE's. Keep it on mind then proceed it.
Imagine a pyramid, the basis is On Page - Should have long texts, unique and useful content, Wordpress or Joomle can be good platform for a website.
Now after you build the basis. The key is finding good links, not an easy task today.. Guest posting on some site can be good - offer articles and get links, make it on blogs relevant to your niche and that got a good backlinks metrix(you can check on majestic SEO).
Also some Q and A Sites(mainly can generate traffic but it still good), also making competitors research and try find their good links.
To rank a webpage on the first page in any search engine you need to do a good SEO for your webpage.
If you will do the basics of SEO right then your chances of getting higher rank will increase.
getting first page position on search engine is also depends on the keyword that you have used. Keywords with low competition are more likely to give better ranking to your site the using keywords with high competition.
This is not an easy task dude.. because to get your website on top of Google and Yahoo you should have SEO knowledge. By just creating backlinks you can not get your website on top because you need to create quality high authority sites backlinks.
Backlinks should be keyword based even you can manage it in Content marketing as well. Every search engine loves fresh content. You can use articles blogs and guest post to create quality back links. Choose low competition back links.
Google had always been the best and will be. It has an easy, friendly and fast interface allowing us to get more than million relevant search results in just few seconds, so how would you compare it to yahoo?
This process will take time. You need to start with quality in-depth article covering the topic.
Write meaningful, descriptive and unique titles for the pages.
Use keywords in the header tags.
Write descriptive alt tags for the images
Keep the URLs clean and meaningful and use keyword in URL
Make the site load time fast
Add fresh content to your site on regular basis
Add your site to Analytics to analyse the traffic
Add your site to webmaster tool
submit sitemap in the webmaster tool
Remove crawl errors
Once all changes are done focus on building quality back links from relevant niche.
Share your posts in Social network sites.
Be patient and wait for results.
Here we go with the general questions again.
To rank on the first page of Google you need to use your brain and learn what to read and where to read it.
I also have a question for you: What have you tried until now to rank your website?
First, you need to think about the keywords. Is it high competition or low competition. For some keywords, you can rank on first page, but it will cost you lots of time to achieve rankings while other keywords can easily be ranked well. Just make sure you choose the right keywords to focus on. After that, you should build your site with high quality content, and with high authority backlinks.
Ranking on Google the white hat way gonna take you some-time depended on how competitive your keywords are; I will suggest to start with onsite optimisation and making sure your website load fast on both desktop & mobile (a definite must, if you are not mobile-friendly you can forget about ranking). I have seen website ranking on page 1 just by having their onsite done properly