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Google position 1 and 2 swapping

     
5:52 pm on Apr 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi, anyone any experience of this. I have been fortunate enough to have a number one position on Google for more than a year on Google.com and Google.co.uk For the past week the website has swapped positions on .com and .co.ukwith the number 2 site... often daily and often during each day several times... any suggestions?
6:01 pm on Apr 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's quite common for sites to fluctuate in ranking on a day to day basis, sometimes by larger amounts than 1 or 2 places.

A lot of queries tend to have an authoritative/well linked to source and it can remain steadfast at number 1, so I've not seen it happen much with the top spot.
6:10 pm on Apr 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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during each day several times

That's been popping up a lot more very recently. Lots to study. The idea of swapping rankings by season of year, day of the week or hour of the day has been in the patents for years, but it's rarely been showing up in the SERPs - especially several changes within one day, day after day.

But now, it seems to be more common - possibly something that Caffeine is set up to do more easily. For the moment I'm calling it dayparting.

[edited by: tedster at 10:20 pm (utc) on Apr 20, 2010]

6:41 pm on Apr 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm watching a variety of niches, and I"m seeing fluctuations in all spots. The #1-#3 spots aren't guaranteed anymore.

What surprised me was seeing a site that had only recently moved to the #9 spot move to #1, and then disappear from the first page.
10:15 pm on Apr 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've been #3 for about three years for one site's main keyword. The top two just wouldn't budge, probably due to age. Caffeine has put me above them.

Age of the site is a good factor, but if you're not too young yourself and incorporate fresh ideas you can push past the dinosaurs now.
7:21 am on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback on this. Some very interesting points.
9:39 am on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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something similar happened with one of the main inner pages on my site recently but not so well placed as the above, it was pretty steadily rising for a good keyword finally onto page one hanging around 7 or 8 for several months and then it seemed to be in the #3 position, usually at night, then back to the #6-8 spot during the day, and then back to #3, etc and then this past week it seems to be holding pretty much in the #3 spot.
something similar with another inner page as well which was pretty steady for a long while around #7-9 then this past few days/week it's #3.....
i have been doing a good bit of back link work the past year, some deep linking the past few months, and i do believe that's the main reason (if i would have to attribute it to something that i've done but who knows...)
12:35 pm on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The idea of swapping rankings by season of year, day of the week or hour of the day has been in the patents for years...


What reason did they give?
1:01 pm on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Different user needs and responses at different times - according to the patent mention.
5:04 pm on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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*If* Google were looking at putting more emphasis on user behaviour (which makes a lot of sense to me), it might be logical to swap sites around a bit to find out how they respond to different queries before settling them down. Just a thought.
12:26 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's normal. There are certain keywords that I compete for where the top 4-5 are constantly shifting around with each update of the Google index or algorithm.
3:28 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yes, that is true. However, the OP mentioned that this is happening "often during each day several times" - that doesn't sound like an algo update effect to me. It sounds more like the algo has this swapping possibility embedded in it.

[edited by: tedster at 6:20 pm (utc) on Apr 22, 2010]

3:47 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is there a possibility that Goggle is juggling the results in some minor way to keep the SERPs looking "fresh"? After all, if there are a top five (legit) and they always appear the same, the users might become complacent and look elsewhere.
 

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