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This is a common question.  Very common.  It’s been asked since the dawn of SEO.  The truth is, no website is ever permanently ranked.  Search engines update their algorithms hundreds of times a year.  Google has been quoted as saying “over 400″ times.  That’s more updates than there are days in a year.

The rationale is to keep results fresh, current, more relevant, and less able to manipulate.  In the past, rankings rarely just dropped off the map unless you made a negative adjustment to your site or SEO strategy.  It was a slower process.  Today it seems the updates are more aggressive, for what can sometimes seem like no good reason at all.

You should never solely rely on natural search for all your traffic unless you are constantly feeding your website with context and authority.  Businesses have lost huge revenue streams (and even tried to sue Google… unsuccessfully) when they put all their eggs in one basket and don’t nurture their investment.

How To Inoculate Yourself

Feed your website a nutritional diet of relevance, authority, and trustworthiness.  Algorithms are always updating to better identify these traits.  Why does it seem like big brands, popular blogs, and Wikipedia always seem to rank better?  It’s not because of behind-the-scenes bias; they simply have influenced the algorithms more.

Think of your website like a child. As your child goes to school and passes each grade, their focus on their career becomes narrower.  What are the industry topics you want to be an expert in?  Each day/month/year you should be feeding your website with the opinions, data, and expertise.

Take a position. People don’t respond well to a company that seems ambiguous. Be vocal. Optimize your site for users and search engines. The more crumbs you leave to prove to search engines that you are an expert in something, the more they’ll notice you, and