Ranking Fluctuations: What to Expect + How to React – Whiteboard Friday

Ranking Fluctuations: What to Expect + How to React – Whiteboard Friday

Ranking Fluctuations: What to Expect + How to React - Whiteboard Friday. Rankings bounce around like this in most search results, especially in the sort of bottom half of page one and especially page two, three, four, or five quite a bit, a tremendous amount in fact. You should also expect to see more fluctuation, even in the top results, when there's a highly temporal topic or result. When you see those and lots of them, you should expect more fluctuation. If you're observing rankings fluctuation like the kind I'm describing -- so down here in the five, six, seven positions, up here in the three, four, five positions from day to day -- that's okay. I would urge you to use weeks as your time period, not days, and measure at least four to six weeks of rankings before you start to freak out over, "Hey, there's too much rankings fluctuation." So what I'd urge you to do is also look at your page traffic. Oh, actually it looks pretty consistent from day to day and week to week. Google fluctuates all the time. And we'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday.

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Rankings fluctuations can be panic-inducing, but they happen to everyone. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses why ranking fluctuations occur, the importance of keeping your cool during those darker moments, and how to identify when you should actually be concerned.

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Ranking Fluctuations

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we are chatting about rankings fluctuations.

So many of you who monitor your rankings in Google might do so weekly or daily or monthly. For those of you who do it daily, you probably observe something like this. I made this up. This is not actually the keyword I tracked, but these are the numbers that I saw. So, basically, you might see that, over the course of four or five days, you hop around from number one, number two, one, one, one. But as you go down this list to the ranking position four or five or six, you’re seeing things like oh number 5, and then I’m ranking number 21, number 19, 7, 8. Gosh, it’s just going all over the place. This happens quite a bit actually.

Many folks ask questions on the Moz Q&A platform and all over the web and to their SEO professionals like, “Why are my rankings jumping around so much? Is this bad? Is there something I should do?” The answer, generally speaking, is no. Rankings bounce around like this in most search results, especially in the sort of bottom half of page one and especially page two, three, four, or five quite a bit, a tremendous amount in fact.

We see SERP fluctuation as being quite high, quite common and consistently so. It is rarely actually the case that you see that number one, number two, number three positions that stay that way for extended periods of time, many weeks or months without moving at all. Some random days you will check it and you will see some of these changes. Others you’ll see them in their consistent positions.

What to expect in rankings flux

A few things to note:

1. There is obviously more fluctuation in the lower down results, on average, usually than there are in the higher results.

So if I get my rankings up here, can I expect no flux? Not exactly.

2. When you first gain rankings in the top three, four, or five, let’s say, you will usually see more fluctuation than after you’ve…

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