Dropping in and out of the SERPS weekly
Since late Feb 2007 / early May my main site has been behaving like a Yo Yo in Google. It started with a 4 week drop in SERPS ratings dramatic that casued a 90% loss of G traffic.
Then it came back and stayed at the same positions as the previous 4 years! for another 3 weeks, then gone again for another 3 weeks. Since that date the site now drops down the SERPS every other Monday and retruns the next week, sort of in and out for a week at a time.
Now none of us have any rights to good SERPS or right to complain but surely this Yo Yo effect is a fault?
Is anyone else seeing this?
Yes, my website seems to suffer from the same problem.
I have seen very similar things on my site.
I've had great visibility for around 3 years. At least 2 times this year I've been bounced from my 3rd place ranking for the main keyword search term, while the other good 2-3 word search terms have remained in positions 1-3.
As of 6-10, I lost nearly all placement for the 2-3 word search terms, and went from position 3 to positions 27 for the main one word term.
Thankfully, we came back to our previous good placement across the board last night....but obviously there's no guarantee we'll remain there.
It'd be nice to get a better idea as to why this sort of thing happens. Since the site isn't completely removed from the SERP's, filing a re-inclusion request isn't an option. Do you know if there's any way to get an answer from G as to why this keeps happening?
It has been reported here on several occasions, that google seems to work with at least two quite different sets of coefficients for its ranking-algo. For google, this bears the clear advantage, that all sites dancing on the razor blade of search-engine-optimization suffer what you call a Yo-Yo effect, whereas sites, which pursue only a minimum of search-engine-friendliness in structure and form thereby concentrating on useful content for the user, perform relatively stable. However, this may be different in highly competitive areas.
What we definitely need for a better understanding and discussion of this effect, is some sample result-pages, the description and quotation of which would not violate the WW TOS.
We'd also need some more detailed data on WHEN these changes exactly took place.
There's been a great deal of churning the past few weeks in Google results. Some serious tweaking going on, I'd imagine. I'm constantly surprised how little people are discussing it.
Oliver, it's true that Google is always working with more than one (often more than two) sets of results. If your read the NY Times article we discussed here [webmasterworld.com], you'll get some sense of the constant flux that's involved. The dates that various result sets flow in and out of live status are also varied. Some people see a relatively reular every three days. Others see weekly.
This situation is too complex for a direct reverse engineering, I think. But what can be said is that yo-yo results happen when a url is very close to a threshold of some kind. What that threshold factor is can be quite different for different sites. But an honest, eyes-open assessment of your page, plus a comparison with the URLs that are not yo-yo-ing for your competition, should point the way to some factor or other where the site owner should back off a bit.
I think that is the key point how do I tell G that something is wrong, a site that moves so dramatically up and down the ranking week in week out can't be good for those looking for quality search results either.
My frustration is that I can't let G know and they can't tell me, "you are doing X stop it" or oh yes we got something wrong and will sort it".
My old employer's site did this for around 4 months before I started doing one thing differently with all of the other SEO I was doing.
I started posting content at least every few days. While it wasn't a great blog/news feed, it was fresh and relevant content and it was updated every few days. The crawl rate increased and BAM, just like that we stayed at between #6 and #8 for the next 3 months.
I left that joint, the content went stale, and now they're stuck on Page 3. I haven't checked to see if they're back to a Yo-Yo or not.
I think you are suffering from the just discovered "Paris Hilton phenomenon". Maybe your website is a little mentally unstable at present?
gee thanks for that comparisson!
As if by magic we yo-yo'd (is that a word) back into the serps today rather than wait until monday, so only 4 days out so far. Not sure if this is a good or bad sign.
On updating, the site normally gets a new unique review every few days so a fair bit of new good quality content.
LP - happier for now
Ok another day and gone again.
Come on G what are you playing at?