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SEO Website Audit

Rankings Disappear

June 1, 2011

Hi Jill,

I have noticed for a long time (but have never asked about it) that we have many keywords that we will rank fine for, but then one week they are not ranked at all and the following Photo Credit: stuartpilbrowweek they will be back to around the original ranking. It seems to be a different set of words that this happens to on a weekly basis. Is this normal or is it an indicator that there is something amiss with our site?

Thanks for your insight. I hope you are doing well!


++Jill's Response++

Hi Katherine,

Yes, that's normal because rankings always vary for a thousand different reasons. In this case, you're likely just seeing results from different databases.

This is why you really shouldn't be measuring rankings anyway, because they're potentially different for every user, browser, computer, etc. See my article on why rankings are a poor measure of success.

(You should also note that if you're checking rankings in some automated fashion and Google finds out, they may very well implement a penalty on the site.)

Do you find your site traffic for those keywords to vary as well? That's what I would want to look at by using analytics to measure your success.

Hope this helps!



Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, an SEO Company in the Boston, MA area since 1995. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalenJill Whalen

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Post Comment

 Chris said:
I have also noticed that same exact thing in the SERP's. At first it sent me into instant panic mode, like what happened? Where did my site go?

After a couple of times you realize that the world is not coming to an end and Google didn't just select you out of 9 trillion other websites to penalize. Silly Google and all their datacenters.

+1'd for helping to clear this up Jill! Thanks!