Why Do Search Engine Rankings Fluctuate?

It’s actually quite fun to find ways to explain seemingly simple concepts unknown to a vast majority of people. And while it’s an intrinsic part of my job which I enjoy it for the most part, it sometimes gets pretty difficult.

One such question that kept me on my toes for quite a bit was ‘why search engine rankings fluctuate?’. If you are one of those nerds who keep a constant watch on your search engine ranking, you would have noticed how your ranking fluctuates, sometimes topping the charts and sometimes stooping low and abandoning the page altogether.

Although moving a few ranks above or below is not a thing you should be fretting about, and traffic influx and conversion are the only things that require your attention. However, what most website owners see is a competitor, or many in certain instances, outranking them on important keywords.

Search Ranking Fluctuation

So for the sake of all those worried way too much about their search engine rankings, I’ll today explain as to why do our websites witness such changes and what can we do about them:

1. Changes in ranking algorithms: All of the search engines use different sets of rules to determine the ranking of search results. In order to continue providing relevant search results, search engines update their algorithms from time to time. And when search engines make changes to its algorithm, deviations are bound to happen.

You need to stay updated on the major trends and changes and make SEO changes on your website accordingly. And if it gets too difficult to do that, continue providing the best value to your visitors. What’s good for customers is ultimately going to be good for search engines.

2. It can totally be your own website: Whether purposeful or unintentional, any change that gets incorporated into your website’s content and structure can potentially affect your search engine ranking. There are a few other examples like content addition, increasing internal links and website redesign that might impact your visibility on search engines.

Search Engine Ranking Changes

However, there are certain factors not under your control. Hosting user generated content and losing/gaining links from other sites can have an equal impact on your ranking.

3. Or your competitors are actually improving: The changes you plan on making to your website are almost similar to what your competitors are trying to do. The relevant keywords you’re adding, the valuable content you’re introducing to your website, or any other SEO tactic you’re trying to implement; there is a very high probability that all of it might not be working in your favour.

What you need to do is to keep a watch on your competitors’ activities and see what’s working for them and what’s not.

4. Or the internet users changing their search patterns: Search engines, especially Google are getting slicker with each passing update. They now seek to offer highly personalized search results based on user behaviour and past searches. This implies that each and every user within your target would end up having somewhat different results for same keywords.

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