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
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Blake Boyd
13 years ago

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

Xiaohan Zhang
Xiaohan Zhang
10 years ago

*many legal professionals

and agreed (of course!)

Gyi Tsakalakis
10 years ago
Reply to  Xiaohan Zhang

Argh, sloppy. Thanks.

Let's Discuss Your Growth

Helping law firms grow profitably with digital marketing and can prove it.

Barry Conybeare

We are so impressed with AttorneySync and their digital marketing services. We started with an audit of our digital presence and hired them thereafter. Fixes to the website and other platforms quickly followed and we have seen a substantial increase in online traffic, new client calls, and new client contracts. Strongly recommend AttorneySync!

Let's Talk

How can we help?

More From Our Blog

June 8, 2023
On Local Law Firm SEO Rank Tracking and Reporting

Over the years, law firm prospects have sent us reports from just about all of our competitors. Unfortunately, even today, some law firm marketing agencies still mislead their clients via "reporting." One particularly egregious example comes in the form of ranking reports. Which prompted this LinkedIn post. To my surprise, I received a lot of […]

Read More
June 7, 2023
On Attribution

John Wanamaker supposedly said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." In an an effort to figure out "what half is working," attribution was born. Coupled with a transition from traditional, offline ads to digital media, attribution became the holy grail for analyzing advertising spends. But […]

Read More
March 22, 2023
I asked ChatGPT to Recommend a Personal Injury Law Firm

I recently asked ChatGPT, "What are some of the top personal injury law firms in Chicago?? Actually, first I ask "who are some of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago?" ChatGPT couldn't handle that one, so I modified the prompt. ChatGPT listed five very well-known firms downtown. Can you guess the other four? That's […]

Read More
February 17, 2023
My Take on Google Search's Guidance on AI-Generated Content & Law Firm SEO

If you're like me, you have some degree of AI, ChatGBT, Bard, exhaustion. Now don't get me wrong, this is stuff is remarkable and is changing, well, a lot. But before you hook up the ChatGPT API to your WordPress API and crank out 10,000 pages, here are a few things to think about. Let's […]

Read More
February 16, 2023
Google Adds New SEO Best Practices for Links

If you know me, you know my opinions about links and SEO advice from Google. If you don't, here's the TL;DR: Meh, links! Meaning, all things being equal, links still remain a competitive difference maker for ranking. Take Google's SEO advice with several grains of salt. Google has no economic incentive to help your site […]

Read More
February 1, 2023
Authenticity & Engagement

The best marketing advice I can give you is to be authentic. Of course, you don't find that very helpful in terms of meeting your growth goals. So, you might decide to game the system. As I'm writing this, one of the more popular ways to gain the system is to pay for engagement. This […]

Read More
January 19, 2023
ChatGPT for Legal Marketing

The following post was written by ChatGPT. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a state-of-the-art language model that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt or context. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses, including law firms, market themselves to potential clients. One way that a law firm could use […]

Read More
May 26, 2022
SEO Expectations for Law Firms

How long does SEO take? When can I expect to see results? What results should I expect to see? These are all reasonable questions that we field from lawyers every day. And, like many legal answers, the answer is: It depends. Yes, I know that's not the answer you wanted. But it's the most honest […]

Read More
May 6, 2022
Who Should Do Marketing?

And how much time should they spend doing it? I recently had the privilege of chatting with Tyson, Jim, and Conrad for an upcoming episode of The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. If you're not familiar with The Maximum Lawyer community, you should definitely check it out. Jim asked a really great question about who should do […]

Read More

Let's Discuss

Questions or comments? Let's discuss on social!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram