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Rankings change in minutes?

     
10:34 pm on Aug 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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What would cause my ranking to just change overnight, or in some cases minutes?

I noticed yesterday according to SERP reports, this keyword I target showed my site at the top of page 2. I confirmed it with Google. Then this morning, I'm not on page 10.

I keep track of a lot of keywords, one day page 3 then the next page 20, then back to 4, then 2, the back to 10. What gives?

I heard of the Google Dance but is this something can happen all the time? I ask because when I look at the majority of rankings the top 10 seems to never change?
10:42 pm on Aug 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Is it the same URL that keeps changing rankings? And I presume you are not changing the page (or have not changed it recently)?

I have sometimes observed this behaviour when Google cannot decide which page to rank out of two on the same site, for the same keyword. At one point page A was rakning, then at the other point page B, and page A disappeared completely from SERPs, and page B ranked lower to where page A was. Then suddenly page A returned and page B either disappeared from SERPs or stayed ranking low.
6:05 am on Sept 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One of my ket pages is at number #1 if I'm logged into my UK VPN and using FF. If I'm using my Thailand IP (i.e. my real one) and using Chrome, it's down on page three. This behaviour appears to be consistent. If I use my cellular phone, different results again.

Probably an unrelated issue to the above, but I find trying to pin a position on a page is pretty much an exercise in futility.
6:20 am on Sept 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@onlinesource
I do agree with the comment by aakk9999, sometime it happens with few pages. Once it start gaining natural links and better social sharing, it will get settled on organic search result

@Asia_Expat
This is very common behavior as a result of personalized search. As Google is bringing search result from different datacenter, you will see different search position in UK and Thaiand IP.
2:57 pm on Sept 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Is it by chance a local query like City + KW? And are you in the US?

Because the Pigeon algo is rotating different versions of the algo on different datacenters. I've tracked and shared the results over time since Pigeon hit on July 24th.

Most of the old DCs still have the old pre-Pigeon algo. But then there are 2 - 3 newer DCs with different versions of Pigeon that are rotating.

I've even caught and shared screen caps of the rotating algos by doing a hard refresh to reveal 2 totally different results. I could just switch back and forth between them.

Even if not local and not US, hitting a different datacenter that has a different algo can account for wild variations like what you are seeing.
3:32 pm on Sept 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I log in incognito and just search for the keyword. No local results. As far as the page it lands one, sometimes it is the homepage and sometimes it is a post. I agree that maybe Google is deciding what page is best for the keyword.

It's strange because I use meta tags and not one post/page goes after the keyword. I guess Google is determining that two posts or pages are worthy of the same keyword though. Not sure how to fix that. Maybe I should do a nofollow/noindex on one of the posts to force Google to accept the other and stop this madness, or is it best to decide what Google likes and let it like it?

As far as updating the pages. I get that, and I do frequent updates. What is a strange is a lot of websites change often and still maintain a steady keyword position in the SERP. I wonder if Google expects some sites to change more like blogs about current events than maybe an eCommerce store which hasn't had new products in awhile. Maybe all the changes to an eCommerce store causes Google to wonder what is up?
12:02 am on Sept 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I would not add nofollow, it stops PR circulating from within the site.
Rather than adding noindex, why not try to re-focus the page a bit by adding a little bit of different content and perhaps by changing internal anchor text?

Once it start gaining natural links and better social sharing, it will get settled on organic search result

This is also true, so maybe it just needs a bit of time?
6:15 pm on Sept 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

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So last night I checked Google and for my top keyword I was on page 3! Awesome! Moving up! Then I added a post, 24 hours later I can't find it even on page 10. Is this normal?

I notice page one listings in Google never shift. The guys who were in the top 4 are always top 4. BUT for me it changes in an instant.
7:17 am on Sept 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Don't check your rankings in same browser when you logged in any Google product(Gmail), if you search like that it will take it as personalized search and will only show results of which sites you have clicked. Better avoid same browser if you are logged in G products. If you observe in different browser then you will see entire different ranking in SERP's (Which is original)
11:16 pm on Sept 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Just for the sake of argument, I've tired a Firefox program that I haven't used in ages, cleaned cache, everything unused and the results are still crazy.

I guess nobody else is experiencing this but me, so Google is just confused I take it.