A lot of business owners have asked me this question. Can you SEO people make any website on the first page?
Unfortunately there isn’t a definite answer to this question. Actually I reckon this could be a common pitfall for a business who is willing to hire an SEO service. Some irresponsible SEOs will say yes without even a careful inspection of the client’s website only to get the job and payment. Eventually this would just be wasting time and money.
Almost all well-known modern search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.) are getting intelligent day by day. They are becoming better at estimating the quality of a webpage. They understand layouts, colours, pictures and semantic terms better than ever before. In one sentence they are getting better of judging if a webpage is quality and relevant in the eyes of a human.
A simple example: If a webpage with dark background uses dark coloured font as well, it will be very hard for visitors to read. Modern search engines would recognise this as hiding content, which could result in the page being removed from the index.
Admittedly they are not as smart as human beings, not even close, and some tricks may still work today. Yet in the long run, as the algorithm updates, tricks will stop working or even get penalised. Building a both human and search engine friendly website, so to speak, lays the most solid foundation for an SEO campaign.
If you asked a good SEO whether your site could be promoted to the first page, he/she would firstly have a really close look at your site and then tell you which part is good and which part needs to be optimised (changed), and of course, the reason why it should be another way.
Now we could finally answer this question. Yes, any website could be promoted to the first page several years ago in the era of stuffing keywords. And the answer is still yes today because technically any website could be made better to comply with rules of modern search engines. However the money and energy to improve a really poor site will be sometimes much more than even to rebuild it.