These are the positions in which your website appears in the search engine results pages. The higher your site ranks, the more traffic it will receive. SEO is carried out with the view to improving search engine rankings.
Search engine rankings are not static in nature. They fluctuate depending on changes that are made to individual websites, as well as algorithmic changes made by Google which affect all of the indexed sites. The Panda and Penguin Google updates affected lots of sites and caused a shake-up of the rankings. Similarly, a website that is in position 8 may make some changes and optimise their site more; causing them to move up to position 1 and top the rankings, changing everyone else’s ranking position also.
Due to the dynamic nature of search engine rankings, SEO must be considered an ongoing task to ensure that your ranking position is maintained and has a chance to climb higher. If SEO is stopped, ranking position will drop, resulting in your competitors receiving the traffic that you once were.
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