Google Continues to Yo-Yo the Search Results

Jul 16, 2008 • 7:51 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Roundtable YoYosPart two of the WebmasterWorld thread on the July 2008 Google update discussion is virtually all about how Google is yo-yoing the results. Meaning, one day a site can have top positions for a keyword phrase in Google, the next day it would drop off and then it would come back. This yo-yoing continues to cycle back and forth according to many many webmasters.

WebmasterWorld administrator, tedster, has confirmed the issues himself:

The most perplexing new SERP observations are those that report cycling, sine waves, yo-yo, rollercoaster, or pick your favorite synonym. Sometimes these cycles happen down in the deep results pages after a url has dropped from page 1 - an apparent penalty. And sometimes the cycling appears on page one - from 3 to 10 to 3 to 10, day after day or week after week.

I don't have a site under my auspices that is showing this effect, but I've been asked to look at few that are - and so far, I can say that the phenomenon is real, but am mystified by it. I felt this way when the -950 first appeared back in 2006 or so, and slowly some understanding of that has emerged. Sure hope we can get some understanding about the yo-yo phenomenon, too.

Scanning through the reports myself, all show that this is more than the typical complaints you see from webmasters and SEOs on Google's fluctuations. It seems to be more extreme and more frequent then in the past. Tedster coins it well:

That name we use - organic rankings - is proving to be more and more accurate.

This leads me back to why I purchased Yo-Yos as schwag for the Search Engine Roundtable. I said back in early 2005, "Since the SEO world is filled with such ups and downs, we thought it would be clever to give out yo-yos. Then we added the glowing aspect to the yo-yo to make it "pulse" a bit." That still applies today, but it seems even more so. Heck, if you want a free Yahoo, send me a 6"x9" cushioned envelop with postage and your mailing address on it and I'll send you one. You can mail it to my office, attention Barry Schwartz.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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07/16/2008 03:07 pm

I am not surprised by this, but then I'm a bit of a Google hatter. The question I have is "What do you think will happen to the adwords and spend levels after this pattern continues consistently over a period of time?" My guess is that we'll see a very nice (at least for Google) increase in the spend level. Wonder how much of this is by chance.


07/17/2008 01:06 am

What message are we meant to take from this? "Organic ranking is unreliable; so if you want control, buy an ad."

Shalom Issenberg

07/17/2008 05:21 am

I'm seeing this shuffle over a few of my sites. I have noticed a few things maybe others have made similar observations: 1) rankings reverted to where they were exactly 30 days ago and then 2 days later to where they were two weeks ago. 2) Two sites targeting very competitive keywords that were sandboxed, came out of the sandbox for 24 hrs and then went back in. 3) One of my sites that has been up and down - for competitive keywords showed - top rankings outside the USA for the KWs, top rankings for allinurl:, allinanchor, but during the days where it had dropped down in the SERPs, was not ranking for allintext: Yet before the shuffle was <== I think this is the "big clue" to whats happening. If anyone is seeing similar things maybe there is something more substantial to these observations. Personally I think we just have to wait it out.

No Name

07/18/2008 11:09 am

i agree, we need to wait this out. normality is bound to be restored and we should see things levelling out, hopefully sooner rather than later...

No Name

07/21/2008 10:16 am

I noticed the changing in rankings too, sometimes changes also happen for a few hours. I hop that the changes in ranking are temporary.

Julie Roberts

07/23/2008 05:08 pm

This is happening to me for the search maui vacation rentals. Usually in the AM I am 3rd on the first page and by noon I have been bumped to the 3rd page.

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