“All this and I didn't spend a dime on advertising (though you can buy your way up the ladder on Google, and that isn't a bad thing!).”
Good story Dave, there are ways to become more prominent in your web site listings. For example, provide good service to a company like Google, and the story you have described.
Another way is to work on what is called “inbound contextual links”, linking with relevant music directories or other sites similar to your own in the piano business. This will be recognized by the search engines, and robots that prowl web sites looking for page ranking information (page ranking was developed by former Google inventor Larry Paige).
Also the many phone directories, forum sites, music schools,newspapers,….. try writing an article for music-enzine, or other generic links, such as the Yahoo directory or DMOZ( expect to wait a year or two) Try submitting a short article on a piano related topic to Digg.com
The more piano related sites you can link up to the more prominent in the piano business you become and the search engines see this as a measure of importance.
Just one word of caution. Make sure you research the sites you are linking to. If you happen to link up with a “link farm” the search engines penalize these sites.
It is a nail in the Yellow Pages coffin (in print form) somewhat, I would agree with that, but most of the phone directories I know of are now on-line also….it is the way of the future right at the moment….(and getting into the on-line directories is another link to your site…)
Spend a dime on advertising?? Well you are by having a web site…..yes I know what you meant
….I have watched the magic of my own site become prominent in this area..It seems all by itself…… www.silverwoodpianos.com