I've been using basic SEO efforts to get OXCGN up there over the last few years, and it hasn't risen a great deal until I renamed the site and purchased a private domain 'name' - oxcgn.com. When I check in say Alexa, to see where traffic comes from, both my original xboxoz360.wordpress.com and oxcgn.com now get roughly the same amount of back links from previous articles and searches etc now.
SEO is more than simply having a good domain name, and oxcgn has managed to have a 6/10 at one stage, and then we've settled at a happy 4/10 for the time being, and a decent site ranking as well.
Which is different to Page Rank of course. I'm sure Raincoaster and timethief can fill ppl in more about that than I could right now, as they are far more affluent on that than I am rightnow.
Suffice to say, you need to make sure of a great many things to ensure google and the 3 other main search engines see you out there in the WWW. Namely MSN, DMOZ, Yahoo and of course Google.
Head over to Amazon and do a search for Idiot Books on SEO, or Web Site promotions, Web Site management, or Web blogs etc. There's plenty there at low cost that you could get, then digest slowly in the real world to help you get a better grasp of what SEO is all about.
One good book is Web Marketing All-In-One for Dummies. It contains 8 books in one. And while it is aimed at semi commercial sites, it also covers blogs and the info pertains to ANY site, be it commercial or not.
Google constantly changes its algorithms, and does so in no fixed pattern so as to avert spammers finding a pattern or loophole easily. One of it's latest fixes is it's now ranking sites by loading times. So site with huge amounts of videos or large image files on their landing page will take longer to load, which in turn has Google notice that, and that time factor effectively goes against that page.
So its best to have those images and vid on secondary (sister pages) etc or not on the main landing page at least.
Another thing is getting your site out there hands-on style. Submitting each and every article you publish to various news or information 'portals'
With every article or game review, write up, news item etc oxcgn publishes, I submit it to at least 13 other sites that then get seen and noticed by readers looking for specific news on that game or news item. I published 3 articles today, so that 39 submissions to various sites, not including the ones that get pinged automatically by WordPress.com's backend
That has the effect of getting your name (url) and your articles out there in a real-world hands-on approach. WordPress.com does a great job of pinging every post you make, but you can help it along by doing some of the leg work yourself as well as having WP.com do their thing.
I'm certainly no expert, but I have managed to get oxcgn out there, many of our pages are now seen in Wiki for specific games titles, one of which is ranked in the top 10 - 20 search results for that game. But that took lots of work to get it there.
There is no 'magic button' or plugin that can get you seen. It does require work on your part. And getting a domain name and having it mapped is certainly a step in the right direct - as raincoaster stated so clearly.
Plus, when you think about it, if I was telling someone to go to my gaming website to check so-n-so game review out (and this used to happen a lot by the way) would they have difficulty in remembering "well just go to xboxoz360.wordpress.com and you'll find us" . . or . . . "well just go to oxcgn (pronounced oxygen btw) and you'll find us there". (OXCGN = Ozzie Xbox Community Gamers Network).
The later one obviously works a treat, as it was easy to remember, was catchy, ppl 'got it' straight away. etc. Yet for some time I just stuck my heels in and stayed with the xboxoz360.wordpress.com name, ppl simply didn't come, not because it was bad, but heck, they couldn't remember the url. Now they can.
Think the old KISS method when it comes to names (keep it simple silly) and you'll have ppl remembering the name more and more.
Get that domain name now, and any other that looks like it. It might cost you a few dollars for the extra names, but it stops someone else from nabbing it, and perhaps draining mis-spelt urls from your actual domain.
Stay with the wordpress.com hosting by all means. as it certainly pays off in the long term. OXCGN has more than 300 vids on the site, and we often get in excess of 200 gig of bandwidth use per month in a busy month just on vids, less in an off month of course. But if you had to pay for that on a private server, you'd come to realize just how valuable WordPress.com really is. I have - that's for sure.
Grab the domain name, stick with wordpress.com and you'll be a happy little camper . . that's for sure.