Search Position Fluctuations

Gyi Tsakalakis
February 11, 2011

While I have consistently tried to communicate that obsessing on rankings for any particular search phrase is not a strategy for online marketing success, may many legal professionals insist in tracking their search positions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this leads them to freak out when they see minor fluctuations in their search positions.

The truth is that minor search engine results fluctuations are completely normal and should be expected. Just because your site increases and decreases a couple positions over time doesn't mean that you've been penalized or are doing something of which Google doesn't approve.

On the other hand, if you're seeing major declines in positions for a wide swath of your target keywords, it might be worth checking into. Otherwise, relax about minor search position fluctuations that are only impacting a few terms.

Search position fluctuations are especially prevalent in longer tail search phrases. This is primarily due to Google's favoring of recent content. In many instances, you may see that a recent blog post experiences much greater visibility for longer tail search phrases, especially those for which your post's title is optimized. As that post becomes older, if it doesn't pick up links, it's likely to fade deeper into search results for search phrases that it had previously ranked much better.

This all brings me back to the same point which is that daily stressing over search position fluctuations is truly a waste of time. That's not to say that monitoring rankings has no merit. Obviously it does. However, instead of hyper-focusing on day to day fluctuations, consider tracking relative trends in positions over longer periods of time. Of course, you should also be keeping an eye on other search marketing metrics including visitor traffic and conversion numbers.

Gyi Tsakalakis
Co-Founder of AttorneySync
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Blake Boyd
12 years ago

but it's still fun (and frustrating) to open up the browser and see where you stand!

Xiaohan Zhang
Xiaohan Zhang
9 years ago

*many legal professionals

and agreed (of course!)

Gyi Tsakalakis
9 years ago
Reply to  Xiaohan Zhang

Argh, sloppy. Thanks.

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