In the dynamic world of search engine optimization (SEO), staying on top of your keyword rankings is crucial for online success. However, one common challenge that both novice and experienced SEO practitioners encounter is keyword ranking fluctuations.
In this article, we'll explore what these fluctuations are, why they happen, and how you can navigate them to optimize your website effectively.
- Fluctuations in Keyword Rankings
- Feature Snippets Impact
- Which Factors Influence Change in Rankings
- Rank Tracking Tool: A “Not Ranked” Status?
- Comparing Rankings with Google Search Console
- How Ubersuggest Rank Tracking Specifically Works
- How Google Ranking Works
Keyword ranking fluctuations refer to the regular, sometimes daily, changes in where your website's pages appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or search queries. These shifts can be both positive and negative, causing your pages to move up or down in the rankings. Understanding these fluctuations is vital because they directly impact on your website's visibility and, consequently, your organic traffic. At Ubersuggest, we are committed to assisting you in navigating this dynamic SEO landscape.
In the context of Google and search engines, a "snippet" refers to a brief excerpt or summary of a web page's content that is displayed in search engine results pages alongside the page's title and URL. These snippets provide users with a preview of what the web page contains before they click on the search result. Snippets are an essential part of the search experience as they help users determine the relevance of a search result to their query.
If you notice that your final ranking displays as “Not Ranked” for a particular range, this might be due to the keyword transitioning into a snippet on Google. Such snippets can change the traditional ranking view and we are currently working on ways to represent this change more accurately within our tool.
Rankings can change dramatically and a keyword that consistently ranks in the top 20 could suddenly drop to between 98-100. On the other hand, a keyword could jump from a 100+ position to the top spot, even if just for a day. This volatility is a fundamental aspect of SEO and keyword rankings in search engine results pages can be volatile for several reasons:
- Search Engine Algorithm Updates: Frequent changes in search algorithms can lead to fluctuations in rankings.
- Competitive Landscape: Rival websites' SEO efforts can impact your rankings positively or negatively.
- User Behavior: How users interact with your site can influence rankings.
- Content Freshness: Keeping content current and relevant is crucial for stable rankings.
- Backlink Profile: Changes in the quality and quantity of backlinks can affect rankings.
- Technical Issues: Website problems like slow loading times or broken links can lead to ranking drops.
- Local and Personalized Search: Results vary based on user location, history, and preferences.
- Seasonal Trends: Some keywords experience seasonal changes in search volume and competition.
- Algorithm Penalties: Violations of search engine guidelines can result in ranking penalties.
- Data Center Variations: Different data centers may provide slightly different rankings.
On days when the rank tracker indicates "not ranked", exploring the daily history can provide clarity. The practice of monitoring and analyzing the historical changes in a website's search engine rankings daily is important and this analysis involves tracking how a website's rankings for specific keywords fluctuate over time, often on a daily or weekly basis, and maintaining a record of these changes. We strive to depict this volatile data with the utmost accuracy.
While Google Search Console (GSC) provides data at the country level, Ubersuggest offers estimated city-level data from our providers. City-level rankings refer to the position or visibility of a website or business in search engine results pages within a specific city or geographical area. City-level rankings are a subset of local SEO and are highly relevant for businesses that operate in specific geographic locations or target local customers. It's worth noting that city-level rankings might display fluctuations due to shifting user intent.
Ubersuggest ranks will pull data from your Google Analytics if it is connected to it. Otherwise, it will provide estimated data that is collected from different sources.
When creating a project in Ubersuggest, the platform displays predictive keyword position insights, which do not reflect real-time data.
If you are a Pro member, you can set the ranking update daily or weekly. For daily ranks, we show the average position for the keyword, and is important to note that these rankings may not correspond precisely with live Google search results. For the most accurate tracking, one should consult the Google Search Console.
For keywords that manifest as featured snippets in search results, Ubersuggest does not track performance data. To obtain a more reliable perspective on keyword ranking, it is advisable to extend the analysis period to a substantial timeframe, such as weekly or monthly intervals.
- Algorithm Adjustments: Sometimes, Google evaluates the relevance of a page for new keywords. The algorithm adjustment refers to changes made to the underlying algorithms that determine how search engine results are ranked and displayed to users. These adjustments are typically made by search engine companies like Google and Bing to improve the relevance and quality of search results. Algorithm adjustments can have a significant impact on how websites are ranked in search engine results pages and can influence organic traffic to websites. An underperforming page, indicated by factors like low CTR, might lose its ranking for that keyword.
- Local Relevance: Local relevance refers to the degree to which a piece of content, a business, or information is pertinent and applicable to a specific geographic area or locality. Local relevance is a critical concept, particularly for businesses that serve specific geographic regions or have physical locations. Google's goal is to provide locally relevant results. For instance, a query for "best coffee shops" will yield different results in New York compared to San Francisco.
- Local Competition: It refers to the rivalry or competition among businesses that operate within the same geographical area or locality. These businesses often offer similar products or services and target the same local customer base. Local competition can be fierce, as each business strives to attract and retain customers within their specific geographic region. A new business opening in a city can reshape the ranking landscape, particularly if they're optimizing for local SEO.
- Local Events & News: Local events and news can have a significant impact on SEO ranking, especially for businesses that rely on attracting local customers. They can influence the ranking through Content Relevance, Keyword Opportunities, Local SEO, Local SEO, Increased Traffic, Link Building, User Engagement, Social Signals, Local Citations, Mobile and Voice Search, and Community Engagement. Local occurrences can temporarily redefine what's considered relevant, causing short-term ranking changes.
- User Intent Factors: User intent factors play a crucial role in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because they determine how well a website's content aligns with what users are looking for when they perform search queries. Understanding and optimizing user intent is essential for ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs) and providing a positive user experience.
- Changing Needs: The dominant intent behind a search can evolve. For example, while "apple" once might have meant the fruit, now the tech company usually dominates the results. Changing needs can have a significant impact on SEO because they reflect shifts in user behavior, preferences, and search patterns. Staying attuned to changing needs is essential for businesses and website owners looking to maintain or improve their search engine rankings and effectively meet the evolving requirements of their target audience.
- Seasonality & Trends: These are important considerations in various aspects of business, marketing, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Understanding how seasonality and trends affect your industry or niche can help you make informed decisions and optimize your strategies. Some keywords alter intent based on the time of year and search intent during holidays, for instance, may lean towards purchase-focused results.
- Algorithm Enhancements: These refer to improvements made to the underlying algorithms that power various software applications, systems, or processes. These enhancements are designed to optimize performance, functionality, and efficiency, leading to better outcomes or user experiences. Algorithm enhancements can be applied in a wide range of domains, including computer science, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and more. As Google refines its algorithms, pages that no longer match the updated user intent might drop in rank.
Being aware of these influencing factors helps businesses and SEO professionals adapt their strategies effectively. At Ubersuggest, we are focused on enhancing both precision and user experience. We are continually evolving our tools in line with your needs and the broader changes in SEO.
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