Measure the success of the page rankings by observing how you engage with those results.
Say you searched for "starbucks new york" and the top page result you click the first link then immediately hit the back button, Google know you were not satisfied with that page.
"long click" this is what Search engines seek! Which means users click a result without immediately returning to the search page to try again.
Smart search engine robots know the link structure of the web serve as a proxy for votes and popularity; higher quality sites and information earned more links than their less useful, lower quality peers.
You need to link to good quality websites related to the keywords/phrases you wan tto rank high for.