In case you have witnessed viable shifts in organic rankings as of late, it’s no secret that Google is constantly making tweaks, changes and adjustments to their algorithms to ensure the most relevant user experience. However, lately you may have noticed SERP (search engine result pages) doing the strangest things.
Some say it is a precursor to a massive update or page rank update whereby de-indexing is the solution to copious amounts of noise and web pollution from irrelevant hodgepodge like content. I on the other hand, see another layer to safeguard the integrity of the web.
With blended search allowing true personalization, geo targeting mapping IP addresses for proximity to serve ads and unique content and who knows how many other unique formulas making their debut, to say that the search engine we are all used to is not in a state of chrysalis is an understatement.
As an example, I have witnessed what appears to be, the re-indexing of the web which translates as the rug being pulled out from under your feet if your support system was affected.
For example, if you have 10 powerhouse links from authority sites that all pass value from some specific legacy value in the algorithm. Then, that value is changed and the flow of link weight from that source dries up.
As a result, your rankings plummet as your pages are no longer able to fend for themselves as a result of the vacuum created. Something on this scale is happening to selective pages as they are being reevaluated for scrutiny.
Apparently, the relevance model is looking for more credible alibis for issuing immunity and authority from the new formula. Internal links seemed to have more prominence prior to the shift a few weeks back, now external links are back in fashion.
In addition, who knows what the new preferred ranking factors are? Some pages inherently have them, others do not, so seeing the SERP shuffle right now is only to be expected when testing is being executed.
In Google blogsearch for example, I have seen blended search results for blogs clipped from headlines a few days old right along side a results from 2 month ago and the third result under that going back as far as 2006. Would you say this is normal on a scale of 1-10 for relevance? I would hardly think so, just call it a reordering of the web.
The bottom line is, Google has the dominant market share (nearly 80% of all search engine traffic) and one slight shift could leave your once lofty ranking on page 3 overnight while a press release on a new site catapults over you and hangs in the search results for weeks unchallenged.
The main consideration when thinking about SEO is you cannot afford to have a linear prospective in a world where search is becoming modular, nebulous and all embracing. You need to think about all of the mediums available to reach the prime real estate for viewers who are interested in products, services or information related to your industry.
Will the search results settle, absolutely, when? we cannot be certain. Shifts in the algorithm are nothing new and while some pages get left out in the cold, others are elevated in the spotlight.
This is the way of the web. Until another system in engaged that quells competition, then get used to the idea of fighting to acquire an organic ranking or adequately defending it from others who would flank your position in a moments notice if they smell blood.
The only thing that is certain is, you must constantly strive to provide value to the web, if you don’t it is only a matter of time before you conduct a search and wonder where your pages went.
Thrive for quality content, quality links and diversify your dependency on any one ranking method or solution so that when or if the relevance model shifts, you are already ahead of the curve.