What causes Google ranking fluctuations-and how can you prevent a fall?

| March 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

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Google” (CC BY 2.0) by  Carlos Luna 

There are hundreds of factors at work that determine where a site places on a Google search and results often fluctuate. To successfully optimise a site, it is a complex procedure. First, one needs to understand how and why rankings fluctuate, and second, learn methods to offset this variation.

How does Google ranking fluctuate?

Google rankings fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. There is a lot of movement, but most of it is only minor and nothing too drastic. Research has been done into the level of fluctuation and it is detailed. In Adam Bunn’s article, http://www.greenlightdigital.com/blog/posts/how-much-do-google-rankings-fluctuate-in-a-day/, it is outlined that, generally, sites only move up and down a few places, rather than onto a different page of the Google search. The graphs in Bunn’s article depict the exact deviation in search places from a sample and the sites that are closer to the top of the rankings fluctuate the least. This suggests that the top sites have solid SEO strategies in place, and is an indication of how difficult it is to break into the uppermost pages.

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Google Search – Promote and Remove” (CC BY 2.0) by  uos?? McArthur 

Why does Google ranking fluctuate?

As stated, there are many different variables in play when considering why rankings fluctuate. One of the foremost reasons is that, as explained by Amit Singhal in a recent advertising video for Google, the Google algorithms are constantly changing. They will alter a few times a day, as analysts at Google develop ways to improve searches and make sure the ranking results are correct. Some major updates like Panda and Penguin are announced, but minor changes that SEO companies don’t know about can cause problems. It is then harder to know whether to attribute ranking changes to algorithm updates, or look for other reasons.

Some additional reasons for movement in rankings are slow site speed, (as analysed by Billy Hoffman at Moz) which can inhibit crawlers’ accessibility. Also, updating content which may either increase or decrease the relevance of a keyword can cause fluctuations, according to Kelly Ayres at Business 2 Community.

Ways to deal with this fluctuation

The first step to offsetting changes is to understand why your site may be rising or falling in the Google rankings. Greenlight’s Bunn says that there are “far too many variables at play” for search fluctuations not to take place. Sites just need to try and limit these fluctuations. Then there are other strategies to implement, that include internal linking, link-building, updating and polishing content, and working out ways to increase site speed. Pratik Dholakiya, co-founder of E2M, stresses the importance of sites doing extensive keyword research. Sites should find the best words to put in the page title element, and the page context text.

Sites should optimise their pages to make them as relevant as possible to as many different search queries as possible. Steve Rayson of Buzzsumo has in the past explained that this can be done through producing good quality on site content and also good quality link-building content elsewhere. Sites should look to attach their business to growing trends to increase their prominence, and look to produce this content on a wide array of different sites to increase the likelihood of someone clicking a link.

 

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Category: Business and Politics

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