Why Does My SEO Ranking Fluctuate?

Jul 19, 2023 | All, Digital Marketing, SEO

SEO ranking can fluctuate due to several reasons. Search engines constantly roll out algorithms and updates to keep a check on the quality of content. This article discusses why SEO ranking fluctuates and how to deal with it.

Every business owner’s digital marketing dream is to consistently rank at the top of search engines. As SEO experts would reassert, reaching the top spot isn’t easy. It takes careful planning over months. From targeting specific keyword optimization to unique content creation and website upkeeping, there are several things to consider to reach the top in SERPs. If you have been doing all this for months and finally achieve your goal – the success taste sweet, doesn’t it? Your website gains more traffic organically, and the conversion rates improve.

While you enjoy the top ranks in SERPs with your targeted keywords, you may suddenly notice that the traffic has started decreasing. As you look for answers, you notice that you no longer rank at the top –you are not even on the first page!

What happened? How did your ranking fall? As far as you can tell, you didn’t deviate from the set strategy or change anything in your article or website design.

Unfortunately, keyword ranking fluctuation is a common problem marketers face. This article will dig deeper into why SEO rankings fluctuate and how to deal with such a situation.

What is Keyword Ranking Fluctuation?

To understand why your page rankings drop without apparent reason, you must understand why SEO ranking changes. Keyword ranking fluctuates when there is a sudden change in the rankings of your targeted keywords in the SERPs (search engine results page). Fluctuations happen because Google regularly rolls out new algorithms to add value to the end-user experience. While this happens, they test the readability of articles, and if you fall short of their standards, your blog’s ranking will drop.

These tests run over days and weeks. While these tests happen, most page rankings change. The good news is that most altered rankings return to their natural positions once the tests are over. But the bad news is that not all regain their lost rankings.

Your first instinct when the rankings drop is to act immediately! You panic and start tweaking the article to regain your lost spot. But acting hastily (even with good intentions) can cause you more harm than good.

Most often, keyword ranking fluctuation is temporary and a natural process. A seasoned SEO expert should expect it from time to time. They will not make impulsive decisions in a panic. If you see your rankings fluctuate, it is important to think before acting. Observe first and act later.

However, the bigger question at this point is why do SEO ranking fluctuate? Let’s see.

Why Does Keyword Ranking Fluctuate?

It is a common observation that websites that recently started ranking better on SERPs are more susceptible to fluctuations. Your rankings are less likely to drop if you have been at the top for a long time. But that’s not the only cause for ranking fluctuations.

There are several factors that Google considers while shaking up rankings. Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons.

Google Algorithms

There are no points for guessing that the most common reason why rankings drop on SERPs is because of changing Google algorithm. Google is continuously innovating to make the search engine user-friendly and user intuitive.

It is common knowledge that Google rolls out updates without prior information. Sometimes they inform the public months after testing and making their observations. Algorithm updates continuously attempt to weed out the bad from the good.

Content stuffed with keywords is easily caught, and their rankings drop promptly. The algorithm finds it and drops its ranking. As a result, if your content does not offer the reader value, the rankings will invariably drop.

You must stay updated if you want to keep a competitive edge in all this. At Cyrusson Inc., our SEO experts always suggest that you should write content for your customer and not for search engine bots and algorithms. When the content is user-focused, regardless of keywords and metrics, they invariably rank better – because that’s what Google likes!

Challenges with the Platform You Are Using    

You might already be using tons of SEO tools to improve your rankings. They must be working, too, as promised! They provide valuable insights and are very helpful in understanding current trends. You cannot rely on them mindlessly.

The reason is that most of the popular tools available in the market rely on third-party data, which are often not current. The metrics they provide are frequently inaccurate. The traffic your website generates could be higher or lower than reflected by these tools – thus misleading you and your goals.

While these tools are helpful to a large extent, take the information they provide with a pinch of salt – and you should be safe.

Losing Backlinks         

When customers and industry peers accept your content, you are doing well. The benefits of good content are many. Backlinking is one of the best ways to understand a website’s success. Backlinking indicates that your website is regarded as a thought leader and that your blogs and articles are well-accepted. More importantly, backlinks positively affect page rankings.

If you start losing your backlinks, it means that other companies are not linking their articles with yours. They rather prefer your competition’s articles. When this happens, your rankings will drop. Thus, analyzing your backlinks using various SEO tools is important.

Search Engine Penalty

Original content wins rewards, while duplicate content faces backlash. That’s the way with search engines. If your content is unique and original, your rankings will remain consistently good. However, if the content is similar to others already ranking well and offers no additional insight or value, it will be downgraded on the SERP.

Google is very particular about what shows on its search engine results page. Duplicate content, hidden links, and keyword stuffing are some red flags that can negatively affect your page rankings. Most of these issues are automatically detected, but if such content passes the bots, they get detected during updates.

Google’s penalty for duplicate content is not good news. Plagiarism is looked down upon heavily, and the consequences are heavy if the content is not original.

How to Ensure that Your Keyword Ranking Remains Consistent

Until now, we have talked about why your SEO rankings fluctuate. While it’s important to know why rankings fluctuate on SERPs, ensuring this doesn’t happen again is equally important. Let’s now talk about some ways to ensure your rankings remain consistent.

  1. Conduct a thorough audit – Regular SEO audits will help you plan. Auditing gives a clear view of where you stand with regard to onsite and off-site optimization and keyword selection. When you plan for the long haul, you can be prepared for all adversities.
  2. Use keywords wisely – It isn’t easy to get the top ranking of SERP, even if you target using the most competitive keywords. Take help from keyword planners and tools that help identify the best, most-competitive, and least competitive keywords for your industry. Pick the ones that best suit your need.
  3. Keyword selection and usage – Your content will only rank well when the keywords used are meaningful yet relevant. Keyword optimization plays a crucial role in the success of your page rankings. Stay away from keyword-stuffing strategies at all costs!
  4. Take advantage of meta-tags – Meta-tags are great ways to attract Google bots. They are not visible to the end-reader, but from an SEO perspective, they are very useful. Make sure your website uses the right meta-tags.
  5. Focus on content – Your search engine rankings will fluctuate if your content is not relevant and current. Content is king, and if you do not invest in quality content, you cannot aim for a long run on the search engine results page. Prioritize content creation. Write on subjects that add value to your customer. Treat every topic with a new angle. Tell a story that is appealing, informative, yet search engine friendly.
  6. SEO maintenance – Search engine optimization is a continuous job. Do not rest if you climb to the top post. You must work harder to retain your position. The competition will always be around, and there will be better, improved, and more relevant content than yours that will try to race ahead of you. Unless you maintain your SEO regularly, your rankings will fluctuate.

Final Thoughts      

Maintaining a stable and high search engine ranking is crucial for businesses striving to maximize online visibility and attract organic traffic. Understanding the reasons behind SEO ranking fluctuations is crucial to avoid falling behind in the race. You can minimize the impact of these fluctuations by staying informed about algorithm updates, monitoring competitor activities, addressing technical issues, optimizing content, and managing backlink profiles. If you need assistance with search engine optimization to enhance your rankings and drive organic traffic, Cyrusson Inc. offers expert guidance and tailored solutions.

You can request our FREE SEO AUDIT REPORT to gain detailed insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your SEO strategy. If you have any other queries, call us at 415-228-9969 to schedule your free consultation today, and let’s get started!

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