Reasons Why Your Search Rankings May Be Bouncing Around
Organic exposure for brands, businesses and blogs alike revolve around two predominant platforms these days: search engines and social media. Generating the level of attention and exposure necessary to flourish in this environment can be a challenge – especially if your marketing budget is limited to non-existent – so it is crucial to maximize visibility in these specific venues.
Search engines remain one of the best long-term, passive and low-cost methods for achieving such results. Optimizing pages for search engines can be a tedious task, but what makes the broader process both frustrating and stressful is the fluctuations often seen in search rankings.
It’s important not to fret too much about this dynamic, however: let’s look at some reasons why your search rankings may be bouncing around despite your best efforts.
One of the biggest reasons why you may see rapid or even gradual changes in your search rankings relates to not what you’ve been doing, but what others are doing. Ultimately, competitors vying for the same search engine results pages will cause changes in how each individual page is ranked. As some sites rise in rankings, others will invariably fall. This means that pinging links and content at search engines is never a guarantee for permanent success.
Ultimately, this is a natural process and cannot be avoided. What can be done in such situations? Doubling-down on SEO efforts, focusing on a variety of alternative keywords and phrases, and creating new content are all valuable strategies for countering any fluctuations in search rankings due to competition.
Obviously the main reason why any brand cares about search rankings is because of search results. In many respects, results and rankings are view as two sides of the same coin. However, it is important to remember that there is some separation in this regard. Just because your rankings are in flux doesn’t necessarily mean that your position in key results pages are changing.
Search engines show users content that is built on the premise of what they need. While most of the top-performing websites in a given niche will appear on the first page of search results regardless of user, there can be a large amount of difference in how each page is ranked in results. This means that somebody who lives 1,000 miles away may see your website ranked differently than you would see it in the same set of search results.
If you are habitually checking your search rankings on a daily or even weekly basis, then you might be noticing constant changes in where your website falls. In most situations, this obsessive desire to inspect rankings is counterproductive: rankings in general can shift back and forth from day to day, which means that checking on them constantly can create a false sense of trouble.
Instead, checking every two weeks or so is ideal for most brands (however, there are some niches where keeping a weekly eye on rankings is beneficial).
In short: don’t panic if your rankings suddenly move to and fro. There are many rational reasons why this can occur that do not indicate any concern for your website’s performance. Consistent monitoring over a sustained period of time will always paint a better picture of the health of your rankings.