The fact that natural search engine rankings are curiously unpredictable things is just something that comes with the territory of search engine optimization. SEO professionals are set with the task of managing and adapting to the every day fluctuations of the industry.
These changes can come in a variety of ways. Search terms that are doing well one month could suddenly decline in the next due to seasonal preferences, product innovations, a change in search vernacular or something completely unforeseen. New businesses selling similar products are springing up all the time, which can lead to increased competition for your chosen keywords. And don’t forget the fact that every search engine out there seems to be in the midst of continually upgrading the way their search algorithms perform and produce results. Granted, this is great for searchers, but it does have a way of making SEO interesting.
So how do you contend with an ever-changing industry? You evolve with it. I know it sounds like a simple solution that everyone should already understand, but that’s not always the case. I’m sure there are still people so engrained in their personal tried and tested optimization strategies that when search positions start slipping, all they can do is scratch their heads as to the reason. The factors influencing search results are too numerous to count, but staying alert to as many of those changes as possible is a prosperous way of maintaining SEO.
That’s not to say that every new idea for influencing search results is always a good one. A strategy considered to be completely SEO-tastic one day can easily be shucked aside for something thought to be better the next. Take the time to research and test new search innovations. Be sure the impact of these new strategies won’t fade away before you can even implement them.
Use What You Know Works
There isn’t a single (legitimate) solution out there that will thrust your site to the top of search results. It doesn’t exist. What does exist are a variety of ideas and strategies that, when used in conjunction with each other, can help boost the visibility of your site on SERPs. I suppose the moral of the story here is that to increase your search positions, use a combination of valid solutions that you know work.
Of course you always want to keep usability in mind when optimizing, but why not cover all your bases?
As stated before, SEO is an evolving process. Implementing a strategy that intelligently utilizes as many aspects of search optimization as possible is the only way to know you’ve done all you can to adapt to the unpredictable nature of search engines.