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Constant Position Bouncing

What causes this issue?

     
12:25 pm on Dec 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

One of our clients sites im working on has this issue in google (its over 2 yrs old):-

Term: Blue Widgets
Site is about Blue Widgets

The Position in the serps is in some kind of cycle / loop ie:-
6 in serps > Nowhere > 212 > 127 > 81 > 34 > 6

Its like the site trips some kind of filter, gets knocked out of the serps and then comes back in and works its way back to where it was and the action is repeated again.

The cycle takes about a 7 days from 6 back to 6 again

Anyone else experienced this or have any ideas for a cure?

Thanks in advance

Rich

6:59 pm on Dec 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is the content on this troubled url essentially static? In other words, is there a major part of the page that changes with current news, site updates, etc?
11:42 pm on Dec 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi Ted,

The site is essentially static - i think i know where you coming from, if content was coming on that trips a filter, but its not.

The site is very subject heavy - ie the sites domain is bluewidgetsite its contents are all about blue widgets and its backlinks are variations of bluewidget with loads of links with just the sitename.

Im thinking its on a line and when they test/ tweak a filter one of the above factors trips the site?

Its only a PR4 site, perhaps if it had more related backlinks that would increase its "Trust" value and protect it from this continual issue - do you think that sounds likely? - Never seen this before.

Rich

11:47 pm on Dec 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Its like the site trips some kind of filter, gets knocked out of the serps and then comes back in and works its way back to where it was and the action is repeated again.

Indeed, the page is on the edge of the "trust" filter.
Make it more "trusted" and it should stabilize on the first page.

3:10 am on Dec 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yeah.

More trusted, relevant links.
A quality link has it all in one.

If you can get more than one, go for some variations in anchor text. Like... plural.

Don't get trusted but irrelevant links, that'll send you to -950 if this keeps up. Also low-trust but relevant links probably wouldn't do anything.

3,4 word long keyphrases beginning with 'blue widget' do allright I assume?

...

11:45 am on Dec 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm thinking its on a line and when they test/tweak a filter one of the above factors trips the site?

I'm not convinced it's a trust issue. The kind of time line you give for this cycle implies there's automated or scheduled filter tweaking. I sincerely doubt there's such rigid weekly planning to Google's tweaking.

Have you checked your competition? Do their sites bounce, too? I've never heard of this bouncing before. Most of the talk is about penalties, which get you stuck w/ no movement.

Any other guesses on your SERP Bouncing?

p/g

11:59 am on Dec 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The cycle takes about a 7 days

I'd double check this though. The whole cycle? Seven days?
For if this is true, the rankings change every day (?)...
Then it may even be but a glitch at Google, as this ain't normal compared to the rest of their results. ( yeah, check others too ).

But the pattern itself is exacltly how the same level of Trust can amount differently at a turn of a knob ( the spam-panic button ), especially during volatile periods such as the holiday season. The thresholds are a moving target, and if a site is on the borderline for 'OK for top 10' / 'OK for top 60' / 'OK for top 120' ...etc, it'll move around pretty much like the OP describes even if its PageRank is already sufficient.

...

2:50 pm on Dec 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have set up 50 + sites this year and have found that all the serps change almost every 24hrs. Sometimes I gets sites holding positions for 4-5 days.
6:09 pm on Dec 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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And they also "change" every time you reload the SERPs as you might hit different servers.

However there's a predictable weekly pattern here as far as I understand:

Nowhere > 212 > 127 > 81 > 34 > 6
1:46 am on Dec 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've also been seeing this same issue RichTC has been reporting. It started several days ago. Each time the search phrase is searched, the result is different and ranges anywhere from #8 to nowhere. URL involved is static.
6:06 am on Dec 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've wondered if this sort of thing is related to being right on the edge of a filter.

If it's related to the phrase based stuff it's awfully hard to guess what phrases you have too much or too little of.

I know Google is trying to find a way to filter out spam sites but they are really affecting good content sites as well.

5:36 pm on Dec 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Might this be a traffic related filter? I'm thinking that there are traffic criteria for staying on page one of the SERPs (click-through rate, fast back button, etc) and for some reason on the specific search involved, this url doesn't meet those traffic metrics when it hits page 1 - even though by other algorithm metrics it "earns" a page 1 spot. So it gets caught in a loop of sorts.

Pure theorizing here, by the way.

4:21 am on Dec 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Tedster, this could be a whole new discussion. I've had some thoughts on this. I'll start a new thread.

< Note - the new thread is HERE [webmasterworld.com] >

[edited by: tedster at 5:32 am (utc) on Dec. 10, 2007]

7:31 am on Dec 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I tend to agree regarding this being about sitting on the edge of the trusted zone. I've been able to fix this thrice and am testing a fourth now.

Try doing a significant content change (reducing the use of your main phrase in text and internal linking) if possible and see what the effect is. You very well may find that it stabilizes.

Like others suggested above try to get 2-3 or more related and trusted links. Keep an eye on their cache dates and scrutinize your situation 1-3 days after each, and especially all, of them get cached.