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  • Writer's pictureAlex Ricciardelli

Reasons Your Keyword’s Rankings are Fluctuating Like Crazy


In the ever-evolving world of SEO, understanding and managing keyword rankings plays a crucial role in driving organic traffic to your website. But, these rankings aren't always a smooth ride. Sometimes, they fluctuate like crazy, leaving you bewildered and questioning your SEO strategies.

This article serves as your guide to unravel the reasons for fluctuating keyword rankings and illustrate how to navigate through them. We will delve into the intricacies of natural, external, internal, and technical factors affecting keyword fluctuations.

1. Natural Factors

2. External Factors

3. Internal Factors

4. Technical Factors

By understanding these factors, you can adopt effective strategies for maintaining stable keyword positions and driving continuous traffic to your website. This knowledge will also assist you in finding the right design and development services for your site.

Let's get started with understanding the natural fluctuations in keyword rankings!

1. Understanding Natural Fluctuations in Keyword Rankings

When aiming for stable keyword rankings, it's important to consider the impact of natural changes in Google's algorithm. This constant evolution of the algorithm can cause your keyword rankings to shift over time, leading to fluctuations in search results. It's especially common to see these fluctuations when your website is ranking lower in search results.

What is the Google Dance?

One phenomenon that illustrates these rapid changes is the Google Dance. This term refers to the period when Google is updating its index, causing rankings to fluctuate quickly within a short period. The dance can last for several days and may cause some concern as you observe your keyword positions bouncing around.

Note: If you're looking for stability in your website's keyword rankings, consider partnering with a reputable creative design agency in Denver. Their expertise can help you not only with design elements but also with optimizing your website for better keyword performance.

Factors Behind Natural Fluctuations

Several factors contribute to these natural fluctuations in keyword rankings:

●  User Behavior: Search engines aim to provide the most relevant results for users. Therefore, any changes in user behavior can influence keyword rankings. For example, if users start searching for a different term than before, it may affect your keyword positions.

●  Content Freshness: Search engines prioritize fresh content. If you regularly update your website with new information or blog posts, it can help maintain or even improve your keyword rankings. However, not having fresh content may result in a drop in your positions.

●  Algorithm Updates: Even small updates to the search engine's algorithm can lead to shifts in keyword rankings. It's essential to stay informed about any announcements from Google regarding changes to their system.

Understanding these factors and their role in natural fluctuations can provide valuable insights into maintaining stable keyword positions. Despite the volatility, it's important to remember that these fluctuations are normal and may not necessarily indicate a problem with your SEO strategy.

2. The Role of Google Algorithm Changes in Keyword Volatility

Google algorithm changes are a fundamental aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). These adjustments range from daily manual tweaks to more complex machine learning changes, all of which are designed to improve the user experience by delivering the most relevant and high-quality search results. It's important to understand how these modifications can lead to keyword ranking volatility and what this means for your SEO strategy.

Frequent Algorithm Updates and Ranking Instability

1. Daily Manual Tweaks

Every day, Google's engineers make slight alterations to fine-tune the search experience. These are often minor and may result in small shifts in keyword rankings that are barely noticeable.

2. Machine Learning Changes

Machine learning algorithms like RankBrain add another layer of complexity. They continuously evolve based on new data, potentially altering how different factors are weighed in ranking decisions.

The cumulative effect of these constant updates can introduce instability in keyword rankings. You might notice your website's position for certain keywords oscillates, sometimes even on a day-to-day basis.

Major Algorithmic Shifts vs. Minor Updates

It is crucial to distinguish between the two types of algorithm changes:

1.  Minor Algorithmic Shifts: These are the regular updates that occur as part of Google’s ongoing efforts to refine its algorithms. They tend to have a limited impact on your website's overall SEO performance.

2.  Major Updates: Occasionally, Google rolls out substantial algorithmic changes that can have significant consequences for your site's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). These updates often target specific types of online behavior or focus on enhancing particular aspects of the user experience, like page speed or mobile-friendliness.

When a major update occurs, some websites might experience dramatic shifts in their rankings. This can be due to an array of reasons such as adjustments in content evaluation, backlink quality assessment, or user interaction signals.

If you're aiming to create a website that enhances credibility and trust, understanding these algorithmic nuances is essential. For instance, consider integrating principles from How to Create a Website That Increases Credibility and Trust? into your web design strategy, ensuring your site adheres to the quality standards that algorithms favor.

In response to algorithm changes, adaptability is key. Regular audits and updates aligned with SEO best practices can help mitigate the impact of these fluctuations.

For example, if you're involved in web design or managing an online presence, staying informed about current trends through resources like RGH could provide valuable insights into maintaining a stable ranking amidst the ever-evolving landscape of Google algorithm changes.

3. External Factors: Understanding the Influence of Sudden Competition, Trends, and Temporal Interest on Keywords

External factors are often overlooked but play a crucial role in keyword fluctuations. This section will delve into how these variables - sudden competition, trends, and temporal interest - can lead to drastic shifts in your keyword rankings.

Sudden Competition

The competitive landscape of your industry can cause significant volatility in keyword positions. When a new competitor emerges in your niche, they might target the same keywords as you do. If their content is high-quality and their SEO strategy effective, they could quickly climb the search engine rankings, potentially displacing your website.

Trends and Viral Topics

Similar disruption can also occur due to emerging trends or viral topics. As an example, consider a sudden increase in searches for "home workout routines" during COVID-19 lockdowns. Websites that had optimized for this keyword experienced a surge in visibility almost overnight. However, this boon can be double-edged; when the trend fades or the topic is no longer viral, your website might experience a drop in traffic as quickly as it rose.

Temporal Interest and Seasonal Fluctuations

Temporal interest refers to how search demand for certain keywords can fluctuate depending on the time of year. Retail websites are familiar with this phenomenon during holiday seasons when certain products become hot commodities overnight. Managing these seasonal fluctuations is crucial for maintaining stable rankings year-round.

One strategy is to optimize your website for both peak season and off-season keywords. For instance, a web design agency might target "best summer web design deals" during warmer months by leveraging web design services Denver and "budget winter website revamp" towards year-end.

In conclusion, understanding these external factors helps you anticipate potential disruptions and adapt your SEO strategy accordingly. This might involve partnering with a corporate website design agency in Denver that can assist with branding, UX/UI, graphic designing, web design & development, and digital marketing solutions.

4. The Role of Internal Changes in Content and Links on Keyword Rankings

When it comes to managing your website's SEO, making changes within your site can have a big impact on how search engines view and rank your keywords. These internal changes include adding or removing content as well as adjusting your site's link structure.

The Impact of Adding New Content

Adding fresh content to your website can be beneficial for SEO. When you publish new articles, blog posts, or other types of content, search engines like Google take notice and send their web crawlers to index and rank these updates.

Here's how it works:

1.  You update your Wix Website Design guide with new information about layout optimization.

2.  Search engines re-index this updated guide.

3.  As a result, there may be temporary fluctuations in keyword rankings as search engines reassess the relevance and value of the new content.

The Impact of Removing Old Content

On the flip side, removing old or outdated content from your site can also affect your keyword rankings. When you delete a page or article that used to rank for certain keywords, search engines need to readjust their understanding of your site's relevance and authority.

For example:

1.  You decide to remove a page dedicated to 'Art Glass Supplies' from your ecommerce website because it is no longer relevant.

2.  The keywords associated with that page may experience decreased visibility in search results until search engines have reassessed their relevance and value.

The Importance of Link Audits

In addition to content changes, it's essential to regularly review and evaluate the links on your website. This process, known as a link audit, helps you identify any low-quality or irrelevant links that could be hurting your SEO efforts.

During a link audit, you should focus on:

●  Assessing the quality and relevance of both inbound links (links pointing to your site from other websites) and outbound links (links from your site to other websites).

●  Removing any low-quality or irrelevant links that you come across.

By conducting regular link audits and removing problematic links, you can improve your site's authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines. However, it's important to note that these changes might also lead to temporary fluctuations in keyword rankings as search engines reassess your site's overall SEO value.

Why Understanding Internal Changes Matters

It's crucial to understand how internal changes can impact your keyword rankings for two main reasons:

1.  Effective SEO management: By knowing the potential effects of content changes and link audits, you can make informed decisions about your website's optimization strategies.

2.  Proactive problem-solving: If you notice sudden drops or increases in keyword rankings, you'll have a better understanding of why these changes might be happening and how to address them promptly.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, and staying proactive with your website's content and link management is key to maintaining strong keyword rankings over time.

5. Technical Considerations: URL Changes, Search Penalties, and Other Ranking Factors

When you make URL changes, it's like moving your digital storefront to a new location. Search engines may initially struggle to find you, impacting your keyword visibility. Here are best practices to minimize disruption:

●  Implement 301 redirects to signal search engines about the move, ensuring link equity is transferred to the new URLs.

●  Update all internal links to reflect the new URL structure.

●  Notify Google via Google Search Console about the changes.

Search penalties, both automatic and manual, can significantly affect your site's ranking. These penalties often result from violations of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and can lead to a sudden drop in traffic. Recovery strategies include:

●  Identifying the cause through messages in Google Search Console.

●  Rectifying the issues such as overuse of keywords or cloaking.

●  Submitting a reconsideration request after corrections are made.

Negative SEO attacks, such as spammy links directed at your site, can tarnish your search rankings. To defend against these tactics:

●  Regularly monitor your backlink profile using tools like Google Search Console or Ahrefs.

●  Disavow toxic backlinks through Google’s Disavow Tool to avoid association with these harmful links.

Lastly, never underestimate the correlation between website security issues and keyword performance. Compromised sites lose trustworthiness in the eyes of both users and search engines. To maintain robust rankings:

●  Ensure you have secure hosting and up-to-date security certificates (SSL).

●  Regularly scan for malware and vulnerabilities.

●  Promptly address any security breaches to prevent long-term damage to your SEO efforts.

By addressing these technical considerations diligently, you can maintain or even enhance your keyword rankings amidst an ever-evolving digital landscape.

6. The Connection Between SEO Tactics, Paid Advertising, and Keyword Rankings

Understanding how adjusting your SEO approach can impact search engine perception and keyword rankings is essential when it comes to implementing effective strategies. Making changes to your SEO tactics involves various actions such as:

●  Updating website content and meta tags

●  Modifying keyword usage and density

●  Improving link-building strategies

Each of these modifications sends signals to search engines that your website is evolving. As a result, there may be temporary changes in keyword rankings as algorithms reassess your site's relevance and authority.

The Role of Paid Advertising in Organic Visibility

Paid advertising campaigns, especially pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, play a significant role in the visibility of your keywords. Here's a closer look at how paid advertising and organic search work together:

1. Synergy with Organic Search

●  Paid ads can increase brand awareness and drive traffic, indirectly boosting organic rankings by improving user engagement metrics.

●  Data from PPC campaigns provide valuable keyword insights that can be used to enhance organic search strategies.

2. Mitigating Fluctuations

●  During periods of volatility in organic rankings, paid ads offer stability and visibility.

●  Ads can fill the gap in visibility if organic rankings drop due to algorithm updates or competitive movements.

Finding the Right Balance Between SEO and Paid Advertising

Achieving a balance between SEO efforts and paid advertising requires a deep understanding of both channels:

1.  Allocating Your Budget: Determine how much you should spend on each channel based on ROI (return on investment) and the specific goals of your campaign.

2.  Developing Your Keyword Strategy: Align your paid advertising keywords with your organic targets to avoid overlap while maximizing coverage.

3.  Leveraging Insights from Both Channels: Use data from both SEO and PPC campaigns to gain insights and optimize your overall marketing efforts.

By having a flexible strategy that can adapt to the ever-changing landscape of SEO practices and paid advertising, you can better navigate fluctuations while taking advantage of opportunities to improve your visibility in search engine results.

The relationship between different marketing tactics is constantly evolving as search engines become more advanced. By carefully considering each aspect, you can ensure that your keyword rankings benefit from both organic SEO strategies and well-executed paid advertising campaigns.


Managing keyword rankings requires a comprehensive approach, where understanding SEO complexities is crucial for long-term success. It's clear that fluctuations are a natural part of SEO, influenced by various factors such as:

●  Natural shifts

●  Algorithm changes

●  External market forces

●  Internal site modifications

●  Technical issues

●  The relationship between organic and paid search strategies

To navigate this ever-changing landscape effectively, here are some key actions to take:

1.  Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with algorithm updates and industry trends.

2.  Monitor Continuously: Use tools like Google Webmaster to regularly analyze backlinks and assess keyword performance.

3.  Adjust Proactively: Be prepared to refine your content and SEO strategies based on changes in search behavior and competition.

4.  Balance Wisely: Find the right balance between paid advertising and organic tactics to increase visibility without compromising credibility.

5.  Secure Consistently: Ensure your website has strong security measures in place to prevent any compromises that could harm your rankings.

By prioritizing a stable SEO strategy that can adapt to these ongoing changes, you'll be able to achieve sustainable growth and maintain a strong online presence. Remember, success in SEO isn't just about reacting to changes—it's about anticipating them.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What are natural fluctuations in keyword rankings?

Natural fluctuations in keyword rankings refer to the normal volatility and changes in position that occur within search engine results pages (SERPs). These fluctuations can be influenced by various factors such as user behavior, content freshness, and the inherent nature of search algorithms.

2 .How do Google algorithm changes impact keyword volatility?

Google algorithm changes can significantly impact keyword volatility by causing shifts in search rankings. Understanding the frequency and magnitude of these updates is crucial for SEO practitioners to adapt their strategies accordingly.

3. What are some external factors that influence keyword fluctuations?

External factors such as sudden competition, emerging trends, and temporal interest can influence keyword fluctuations. These changes in the competitive landscape and search demand need to be managed effectively to maintain stable keyword rankings.

4. How do internal changes in content and links affect keyword rankings?

Internal changes in content, including additions and removals, can impact the relevance and authority of a website's keywords. Regular link audits are also essential for maintaining a healthy backlink profile and stable rankings.

5. What are some technical considerations that affect keyword rankings?

Technical considerations such as URL changes, search penalties, negative SEO attacks, and compromised sites can all have an impact on keyword rankings. Understanding these factors and implementing best practices is crucial for sustaining long-term SEO success.

6. How do SEO tactics and paid advertising relate to keyword rankings?

Changes in SEO tactics can influence the way search engines perceive and rank keywords for a website. Additionally, there is a relationship between paid advertising campaigns and organic search visibility, which requires finding the right balance for optimal results.


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