SEO: Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results
by Duane Forrester, Bing Webmaster Blog
January 23, 2014

SEO (search engine optimization) has been around for a very long time. During that time, SEOs have found creative ways to move the needle, abused them, lost them to algo updates, found more and generally repeated the cycle 3 billion times.

I’ve been on both sides of this, and made a decision about a year into running my first successful website: content would be the focus. Now, mind you, this was before “content was king” and before the engines really nailed that message. It just seemed like the right approach to me. Serve the searcher, not the engine. To be clear, I still use tools like the Bing Webmaster Tools and other webmaster tools to understand what’s up, I do some light keyword research, etc. All the usual best practices most sites perform every day. Remember, it’s all about balance today and moving forward.

And while everyone today is all about “content”, many still seek shortcuts. So many businesses have flawed plans or approaches. And so many have business models that will be flawed as time moves forward.
Later in the article:

Too many businesses today stay laser focused on one idea or approach and when a change happens, they are stunned by their loss of traffic.

Times change. The web has changed. What users expect from the web has changed. Search must therefore keep up with the times. Business models that made sense 5 years ago might not be viable moving forward. Tactics that worked 3 years ago might not work tomorrow. So, what do you do?

Provide real, useful content, services and tangible value to a searcher. Do that, and become loved by your customers, and you’re almost guaranteed a place near the top of the organic stack. Still lots of work, to be sure, but as you’ve seen over the last couple of years, short cuts work both ways.

In the end, it’s worth repeating, there should not be an expectation that an engine will send you traffic, or that the volume of traffic seen up to a certain point should remain the same or grow. Change means just that. Change.