Leosghost - 6:08 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)
Unless the transitional results places higher than the final result, there is no damage.
If the transitional rank moves up just once during the "shuffle" and stay there for 30 days ..someone else has to have moved down..that is 30 days of damage right there..SERP positions of pages do not exist in a vacuum thats why they are called positions<= which means relative to each other..
I agree with thegipsy that it would be impractical to apply this across the board and that it is only done for a selected pages/sites that are already suspect to engage in what Google calls "rank manipulation spamming"
Yes ..but any "playing with the rank of one page" ( and the patent does not restrict movement to only downwards in transitory phases, nor to only one movement, there may be many , both up and down whilst G sees what the reaction is ) ) in order to better identify SEO must, of it's nature effect others..in a similar way to if a strong backlink goes away because the linking site falls or even goes off line, or closes, ..the receiving site can be affected adversely and slip down even a small slide can result in major traffic losses.
Now imagine that there are 5 or 10 SEOs playing in your "keyword space" ( or anyone else's ) that G is "shuffling" up and or down, the disruption to the other innocent sites in the "keyword space" can cause real damage, as they are moved around to accommodate G's "games"..
And G talks of the possibility of some of these moves lasting days, weeks and or months..
Even applied to 1% of SERPS..that is major disruption to sites that are doing nothing "wrong"..some of them may not survive being caught up in such manipulation..and meanwhile the SERPS are not the best quality that G can serve searchers..but are the best quality which serves Google and their anti SEO experiments..
Sure they are faced with a dichotomy ..they want to remove heavily manipulative SEO and spammy site construction..but it is kind of like "all the class has to stay in after school , because someone did wrong, and teacher isn't sure who"..even the kids whose last bus home will have left by the time they are all allowed out..