To ease your worries right away the answer to the question “is it normal for search engine rankings to fluctuate?” is Yes! When using SEO to obtain a higher ranking in the search engines, there are far too many variables to ensure that you will always get the same ranking results. Because there are so many variables, you should not stress if there is fluctuation in the rankings.
If you are still uncomfortable with the amount of times each day your search engine rankings fluctuate, you can take a look at the study done by Greenlight. This group normally checks the rankings yet to ease the blog reader’s minds they decided to make their study a little larger than normal. Greenlight picked 1,000 keywords and then recorded the top ranking 100 sites. Next, they checked the rankings 10-15 times over a 24 hour period. This meant that they were looking at about 1 million URL’s and how much the rankings of these sites fluctuated within the 24 hour time period.
What Greenlight found was that 82,480 (or 8% of the data) URL’s experienced one fluctuation throughout the day. While also checking the fluctuations the Greenlight team also checked to see to what degree these fluctuations happened. There were a few sites that slightly fluctuated, while there were many sites that experience major fluctuations in their data. Again this is due to a number of different variables including search engine maintenance and testing they need to complete each day to allow the site to run smoothly.
There are other reasons for search engine rankings to fluctuate that do not have to do with the search engine maintenance. When you are newer at SEO you might be checking a little too often how your sites are ranked in the search engines, but you might be checking them in a less efficient way than you need to be. If there is a huge fluctuation in your rankings you could be checking too specifically. Do not just look at the single rakings report, but rather look at a few different data resources over a period of time. These single ranking reports should only be considered a snapshot of the whole picture. To ensure that you are getting a full idea of your SEO articles and search engine rankings you should take a look at the monthly reports on only 10 keywords. Next you should look at at least 3 sources of data, and finally you should make sure you look at the data of these three sources equally.
Do you still feel as though your Google rankings are fluctuating more than normal? Comment below or contact us, and we will be glad to help you in any way we can.