What Do Ranking Fluctuations Mean?

If you check your search engine rankings on a regular basis, then there is one thing you are sure to have noticed: you can’t count on your ranking to be consistent. Ranking fluctuations are part of life on SERPs (search engine results pages), and seeing them happen doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong with your SEO. Although there are times that ranking fluctuations are cause for concern, in most cases, the ups and downs are normal. Here’s what you need to know.

Ranking fluctuations are common, especially for lower ranks.

Ranking fluctuations happen all over search pages, but the lower you go in ranking, the more likely they are to occur. If you are ranked in the fifth or sixth position for a specific keyword, and then discover a few days later that you’ve dropped to seven or eight, chances are that there’s no reason to panic. Bobbing up and down within a small band of search results is common, particularly outside of the top two or three results. Adjusting your SEO practices to chase a solid fifth position is likely to do more harm than good.

Trends are more important than one-off incidents.

To determine if your ranking fluctuations are caused by a problem on your end, you have to look at trends over several weeks. Day-to-day shifts are really too arbitrary to provide you with useful insight. Watch your own rankings over four to six weeks and keep an eye on the rankings of your closest competitors during that time as well. While doing so, see how your traffic matches up with your rankings. Collecting this amount of data will give you enough information to work with, and you’ll likely see that fluctuations are normal and have minimal effect on your traffic.

Sudden, precipitous drop-offs are red flags.

Significant drops are different than ranking fluctuations. You could have an issue with your site if a number of your pages suddenly drop precipitously. If this happens, you could have some devalued links, a technical problem with your site, or another issue. This kind of fluctuation is the type that deserves your attention.

Let Pennington Creative help you get off the SERP rollercoaster with SEO-driven content created by our experienced team of copywriters and digital marketers. To find out more about our content creation services and industry-specific onsite solutions, contact our team in Tucson today.

About the Author

Heather - Digital Marketing Specialist, Copywriting
Heather McDonald

Digital Marketing Specialist, Copywriting

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