There are a lot of factors that go into ranking first page on Google search. Here are some of the most important:
- Have search-friendly titles. Write your titles the way someone else might search for the subject. I'm getting better at this but sometimes the editors still come through and tweak them and when they do that I get a LOT more traffic.
- Write high-quality, superior content. So, this means writing articles that people will stick around to read. Excellent grammar and easy-to-read paragraphs full of useful (not fluffy) information is your best bet. You'll also want to include high-quality, full sized images that are credited and legal to use.
- Don't let Google see you as spammy. That means remove all unnecessary links. Don't try to sell anything in your article unless it's something you've personally used and is relevant to what you're writing about.
Also, you want to try and get your articles moved to as many niche sites as possible. HubPages doesn't show up in Google search right away, in my experience. But their niche sites are VERY popular and trusted by Google :)