A WebmasterWorld thread has some interesting observations, which I thought would be fun to name the "Floating Four" symptom.
In short, it seems like there are some pages that happen to float into the fourth position at Google's search results and then a couple hours later disappear. This pattern has been repeating itself time and time again.
WebmasterWorld's senior member, internetheaven, first reported this. He isolated his issue from a position 6 listing, floating to a position 4 and then back to 6. But he isn't the only one who noticed this mysterious floating four behavior. Senior member, steveb, also noticed it with rankings in the position 8 or higher, floating into the fourth position. Here is steveb's post:
Over the past week or so, I've seen the #4 spot show at least two pages that have long (years) been undervalued for the term by Google. they float in and out, and then also sometimes rank #8 while other times fall to where they have been for years (the 30s for one, nowhere for the other).
The thread is very new, but maybe we will find others noticing the same thing. If so, either comment here or discuss at WebmasterWorld. Either way, I will keep watching the space for more signs of this "floating four" behavior and keep you updated on any changes.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.