Search engine optimization (SEO) is full of ups and downs. One day, you may be ranking on top of the world, then for no apparent reason that ranking diminishes. The only about SEO that remains constant is change, and you need to know which ranking factors to support, ignore or omit to constantly stay ahead of the curve.
Three things are certain about SEO (1) the fact that each day there will be more competition for your website to overcome (2) that those who are not ranking in the top 10 are trying harder and (3) that search engines are always changing the metric that shift the emphasis on ranking factors.
Any one of these three variables is enough to overcome from a standpoint of analysis and execution, but like most things worthy of attainment, the closer you are, the more likely the target is to change. Or, on the contrary, you enjoy a run of rankings and then for no apparent reason, some rankings take a dip while others rise to the top without effort.
To say that one has a complete grasp over the SEO process is ludicrous. That is because SEO is constantly in a state of refinement, evolution and pruning to find the most relevant methods to assess which websites and respective pages are truly worthy to populate as valid search results.
As a user, you might not even notice the fluctuations, however on the other side of the coin as a business that thrives as a result of having or maintaining a certain position for choice keywords your monthly yield is tied directly into keeping a prominent search engine position.
As a result, you must transcend viewing your website as a collection of pages and see it rather as a body of information. That information must be (a) a masterpiece in contention to other sites or (b) extremely relevant to weather the test of time and remain on top.
The more competitive a keyword is, the more algorithms scrutinize the sites aiming for those keywords. Google, Yahoo and other search engines are directly impacted by the quality of the results they produce. If they produce less than favorable results, they lose market share and direct profits from advertisers pulling their budgets and trying other methods to monetize their online properties.
As a result of being vested, certain choices have to be made on which types of information are relevant. With the advent of blended search videos, wikis, news and other types of sites are ranking alongside the traditional commercial rankings.
This is a direct result of the evolution of search behavior and search engines must adapt since many people visit different types of websites for different reasons, which means that no one type of site is really guaranteed a stable position.
The basis of search engines is to keep results fresh, relevant or diverse enough on a topic to ensure that each type of consumer receives validation and enough options to strengthen the search engines brand as reliable in producing tangible and relevant search results.
As a result, if the ranking factors are shifted and your website lacks the fundamental defense to withstand the shift, then chances are you may find your listing replaced by another page that is closer to the least common denominator of penalties, relevance and popularity required by that particular threshold for that keyword.
Authority sites can weather change easier by the virtue of the trust they have garnered over time. So, either you seek to acquire a vote/link from authority sites to bolster your own websites reputation or you create that authority from within your site by concentrating your theme, internal links and on page focus.
However, sometimes no matter what you do, you just have to let the algorithms run their course and reshuffle the results. During that downtime when the passing of the guard or data center is occurring, you can fine tune or polish your content for the next sweep by the crawlers (search engines use to index pages) to see how your relevance score has improved or diminished for the said query or series of key phrases.
This is the challenge that good SEO’s face every day. To make your website immune to 90% of the minute algorithms that are targeting those functioning outside the guidelines set by search engines (since not everyone plays by the rules); while staying far enough ahead of the curve by focusing on creating a robust website capable of delivering more to humans and search engines alike without losing continuity.
This means being mindful of the link neighborhood your site attracts, ensuring strong internal links to reinforce topical authority and having fresh relevant content to serve up to search engines and readers alike.
If you can master the gap in between, rankings which rise or fall will have less impact as you are gaining more readers, new traffic and are thus less dependent on each individual keyword for funneling commerce to your website.
Competition is the most formidable opponent (since you can never truly tell which tactics or which phase their SEO is in), but control what you can (which is your own website) to produce the relevance necessary to that you remain a contender until the search algorithms shift back into your favor.
Mentioning the point above, you are never viewing truly fresh search results, they are a hybrid of cached data from 6-8 weeks ago constantly being fed like a stream into a river into the larger collection of data that search engines use to serve up to users via information retrieval.
So, what you are seeing represents the way things were merging with the way they are now. This provides ample to ramp up and reinforce a page from losing its position (if you know what to look for). As well as this stage provides ample opportunity to forecast patterns (much like a weatherman) for the next 6 week stint (if you can interpret the signals).
Change is a constant in search, so, never assume, you either know or you don’t know when it comes to which factors are producing the most value for your website. You cannot rest on your laurels any more than the next competitor and since change is imminent, it is better to be ahead of the curve than behind it trying to catch up because you neglected your website or the competition quite frankly just turned up the heat.