It's no secret that Google are continually revising their core updates in order to improve search results to their users. Therefore your positioning in the results can change accordingly.
But you may wonder why would your position change? Google actually give a simple analogy for this situation: Imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015, then in 2019 you refresh the list. Obviously the results are going to change. New movies may have come out, or you might reassess ones you previously saw and think they deserve a higher or lower place.
So apply this thinking to your website and understand that If your site drops.......it doesn't mean there's something necessarily wrong with it. It's just that newer sites may have come along, or possibly existing sites have increased the quality of their content to rank higher than they previously were.
Which brings me to the crucial word: Content!
Google doesn't rank your site on how artistic and pretty it is.....it doesn't care. In fact it can't even see how attractive it is because the search engine spider doesn't actually have eyes......it's just a machine that's scraping data off the page. It wouldn't know whether an image showed a Spanish Beach or the Spanish Inquisition unless I put in an "alt tag" to tell it that information. The visuals are just window dressing for your users......nothing more.
Of course your site must look attractive and professional.........but it has no bearing on your search positioning.
On-site optimisations to present your content to users and search engines are important........but ultimately you will live or die according to what your content contains. There's no way round this fact, and as I always say......"There is no Magic Bullet".
Google have just released an updated directive confirming what it is they look for when assessing a website. Full information HERE!
There's nothing in it that they haven't stated before as per previous Google Search Quality Guidelines, but it's worth you just browsing through these to get a better overall perspective:
Content and quality questions
Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?
If you researched the site producing the content, would you come away with an impression that it is well-trusted or widely-recognized as an authority on its topic?
Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
Is the content free from easily-verified factual errors?
Would you feel comfortable trusting this content for issues relating to your money or your life?
Presentation and production questions
Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
Does the content seem to be serving the genuine interests of visitors to the site or does it seem to exist solely by someone attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
So forget what the SEO mail spammers say, forget what the bloke in the pub says, forget what the internet blowhards who claim to be the world's foremost SEO expert say......that directive as above is straight from the horse's mouth.
We may not agree with it! From my point of view it could be argued that whoever's got the best wordsmith (not the best web developer) on their team has the upper hand in this. But the good news is that great wordsmiths are few and far between in this business - because they're all earning much better money as journalists.
So if you are able to come up with content that demonstrates your industry knowledge while giving users valuable information, it will stand you in good stead when Google does it's indexing. And it also gives you something to promote on Social Media to a much wider audience.