What Causes Your Search Rankings to Fluctuate?

CEO Approved Content

CEO Approved Content

Why do your search rankings change from month-to-month? Could be any of a million things. Learn some common reasons why this happens in this post. With some keywords, you move just a couple spots or so. With others, you slide up or down 80-100. I’m sure you’re used to it by now. You take a look at your monthly search rankings report. In SEO, that’s completely normal. Everyone experiences this. Why does it happen?

Some of the top reasons:

  1. It’s Just How Google Works

Google has thousands of super-intelligent people working on its algorithm daily. Every year, around 200-500 updates get implemented. In the news, you might hear about 5 of these or so.

Plus, remember with Google your search results change based on your location. Your results may even change when you search from a different computer. On top of that, Google’s own engineers don’t even know why it ranks things the way it does sometimes.

Your search rankings will vary each month.

  1. You Did Something Google Really Didn’t Like

If you have a big drop across the board, you got penalized. A loss in traffic of 20-25%, or more likely means you got nailed.

A normal amount of fluctuation happens. But anything dramatically negative usually indicates a penalty.

  1. You Have Bad Hosting

Some hosts may not give you the greatest uptime. With your site down occasionally, that sends a signal to Google that it’s not the greatest place to be.

In addition, the long-term attrition from lost users who used to visit your website can harm your rankings also. Good web hosting can be bought at ridiculously low prices, so make a switch fast if you’re not happy with yours.

  1. Someone Else Outranks You

Remember, SEO competition is intense, and especially so for local businesses. You can do SEO just the way Google likes, but still have competitors pass you up.

If that’s the case, you can’t do much. All you can do is continue to focus on good SEO. Then, your overall rankings will stay high, while you might lose positions for some terms.

  1. Google Needs to Make Money

Never forget that Google is a for-profit corporation. Currently, it’s valued at $514 billion, making it the second most valuable company in the United States. However, it’s still a good distance from the leader, Apple ($596 billion). Every big, powerful, and wealthy corporation wants more money under their control.

Google doesn’t make any money from organic SEO. But, they do make big money from their ads. So, long-term, it makes sense to decrease the value of SEO and increase its difficulty so paid ads look better for you to use.

And of Course, There’s Dozens of Unknowns

Unless you have a noticeable change in many of your rankings, it’s basically impossible to know exactly why your rankings change from keyword to keyword. All you can control is what you do, and whether that fits Google’s guidelines for good SEO.

And if you do that, you’ll be fine.

Joshua Cabe Johnson

Joshua Cabe Johnson

Joshua Cabe Johnson has been an SEO since 2008. He has personally helped over 1000 clients with online visibility and brand strategy for SEO growth.

Visual rankings has been helping small business owners online since 2002.

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