SEO does have its quirks and is a long-term commitment. Some of these challenges are not related to the technology. Some are just out of your control. The following subsections discuss some of these challenges, including competition, no guarantees, ranking fluctuations, time factors, and organization structure.
In June 2008, VeriSign reported that there were about 168 million domain name registrations across all of the top-level domain (TLD) names. You can find the report at http://www.verisign.com/static/044191.pdf . According to another survey, conducted by Netcraft in April 2009, there were approximately 231.5 million websites across the globe ( http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html ).
Although these numbers are staggering, it is likely that the true number of all websites is even higher. As each domain can have numerous subdomains, websites realistically number somewhere in the billions.
It’s almost inconceivable that you are the only person in your niche. At the same time, many sites don’t do any SEO, and so it’s relatively easy to gain mindshare and search engine rankings, particularly if you are serving a niche market.
Nobody can actually guarantee the top spot on Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. It is simply impossible to do so. Though many have certainly tried, too many variables are involved.
However, the benefit of SEO is real. If you do your SEO due diligence, rankings and popularity will come in time—provided you have relevant content. Many sites are taking advantage of SEO. It would be foolish not to utilize SEO as part of your overall online marketing strategy.
The motive of any business is growth. If you don’t grow, you could be in trouble. This is especially the case with businesses that depend solely on their websites for revenues. For some, the Internet is one way to expand and increase their business. For others, the Internet is their lifeline and the core of their business model. With tens of millions of domains all competing for popularity, trying to stand out in the crowd can be a daunting or even frightening prospect.
With continuous improvements in search engine technology, search engines are using hundreds of different ranking factors. Sometimes all it takes is for one factor to change for your site to sink in the rankings or (even worse) be wiped out of the index completely.
Although nobody knows the exact ranking formula, each search engine has its own take on ranking factors. “Positive” ranking factors aid your rank. “Negative” ranking factors (such as having duplicate content) penalize your rank.
If you could illustrate this concept, it would look similar to Figure 1-4 . The positive weights would represent the factors aiding your rank, while the negative weights would represent the factors working against your rank. The cumulative total (of all weights) would represent the relative rank weight that search engines could use in establishing the relative page rank for a particular keyword.
Source: SEO Warrior: Essential Techniques for Increasing Web Visibility by John I. Jerkovic