There is a current thread at Webmaster World that asks the question: Is it Realistic to Base a Business Around Free SERPs?. Interesting dialogue. You can see my post under the user ID of “stonecold”. Basically, what I say is, this is what my company does for a living.
Of course, you can make a living pursuing organic listings. It’s a matter of approach. When you focus all of your energy on outstanding content and high quality links, your business will grow. No question that there will be peaks and valleys. Search engines do update their algorithms and data on a regular basis. This affects your rankings and your traffic.
But good content and high quality links is what the search engines want you to concentrate on. Take it on faith that their objective is to provide the highest quality web sites in response to a user’s search query. If they get a reputation for doing this, their market share grows.
The way they succeed in doing this is by identifying the best content. They use 2 major methods:
- Analyze the content on your pages (including its links)
- Analyze the number, quality, and relevance of links to your pages
What this means is that ongoing changes by the search engines are likely to reward you if you truly focus on these things. Their changes are also likely to screen out the competitors that are relying on the latest tricks.
However, this is not for the faint of heart. Building a brand new site in a competitive market, and bringing it to a level of prominence is a 2 to 3 year process.