When it comes to look back and compare the present scenario of Internet Era. The SEO Tricks have been gone through a big bombastic changes.
The results of ranking of a particular website as of today were not the same as on yesterday, and won’t be the same on tomorrow. No one can predict.
But all you need to keep in mind being in competition is a “Good Linking Strategy”.
And, it does matter with the Quality of SEO Firm you have hired for your expectations.
Google is now much more strict over the linking strategies you are using for gaining backlinks for your website. It is strictly recommended that the links coming to or going from your website must be in complete relevance to your website. And, if it is not found as such, you are really paying money for degrading your website.
For the regular Post-Panda, Penguin EMD or other updates your SEO guy must be in complete acknowledgement to the new changes and should be prepared in advance not only up to the mark but above the mark so as to retain at present position at least.
With a little ups and down is not a worry but having a good presence previously and ranking nowhere at present could be a sign of spamming to those pages with particularly targeted keywords on those pages.
The linking that supports your organic search engine results must itself be obtained organically through social sharing, guest blogging and similar tactics.