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    RDT
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    Jumping Up and Down in Google


    I have noticed a trend that scares the heck out of me with my rankings in Google. My site has been slowly creeping up in the rankings of Google for my main targeted key words ("florida health insurance", which is very competitive), however, in the process, I have seen some MAJOR fluctuations in my positioning, but the biggest one I have noticed today. Over the last week I went from being on the 7th page of Google to the top of the 5th, as of last night. I just checked a few minutes ago, and my site was nowhere to be found, until I got to the THIRTY-EIGHTH page!!! Geesh, I was about to give up looking for my listing! The worst I have seen in the recent past is when I went from the 4th Page to the 23rd, then they shifted me back to like the 7th page the next day.

    Can someone tell me why this is happening??? Is this a normal trend that comes with being moved up in the SERPs??? Do they have to shuffle you down (in this case WAY down) in order to move you up??? Maybe I just happened to catch the exact time in the day when they were in the process of changing my position, and temporarily put me there until they made the shift for my site??? God, I hope so!...lol. If anyone can share some of their wisdom and experience on this subject, I would appreciate it.

    BTW... the website (Flquote.com) that holds the number one position steadily for my targeted search term has 21 relevant backlinks indexed by Google, but my site has 39. The thing is that his site steadily just stays in that top position. I sometimes see his site go to position 2, but usually within a couple of days, he's back to number one again. After evaluating his site (PR3, btw) and his existing backlinks, it just doesn't make any sense at all to me why Google favors him SO much. His site has been dominating that position for the last five years or so.

    However, his website design is an atrocity, and quite frankly I think it is a total waste of a top position for a very competitive key word phrase. Of course, he must get MANY visitors per day, but I would think that only about maybe 20% of them are halfway interested in contacting him after visiting and seeing that mess. I think a 12-year old could have done a better website design, if you ask me. I hate to sound so negative about a competitor, but if anyone looks at this website, I would think that they would totally agree. A website is just like a store. You can advertise and drive as many people as possible to that store, but if it is not pleasing to the new customers, they are going to walk out. Same scenario with websites, of course.

    RDT


    UPDATE 1 - since I last posted this thread (about an hour later), my website went from page thirty-eighth to FORTY-TWO!... yikes!!!.... keep in mind I am NOT talking about "position" number, I'm talking about PAGE number fluctuations. This just HAS to be a standard shuffle because how can I have been on the 5th page just last night (and have been on page 6 for the last week or so), and jumped down to page forty-two just the next day, AND fluctuated 4 pages down within an hour's time just now? As mentioned above, I have seen similar in the recent past (but not as extreme), and I am going to assume that I will be back in the running again by tomorrow while they figure out where to position me in the upper pages, but this is totally nerve racking. Any thoughts on this??.... Please???

    UPDATE 2 - Ok, just about a half hour later (after "UPDATE 1"), I'm BACK to page thirty-eight again... hmmmmm, interesting.....

    UPDATE 3 - (50 minutes later) Back to pg. 42.... crazy man!

    UPDATE 4 - (one hour later) Back to pg. 38....

    UPDATE 5 - (15 minutes later!) Back to page 42!...

    UPDATE 6 - (10 minutes later!) Back to page 38 AGAIN... now I need a drink!...
    Last edited by brandall; Apr 17th, 2006 at 10:27 AM.
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    Well after telling a client his travel site had finally made it to page 1 on Google yesterday (or the day before), and that I'll be sending an invoice this week, it is now worse than before, on page 3.

    Whatever is going on it is REALLY annoying!
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    Actually, reading on through your post, I guess that your competitors site just shows what most SEOs already know ... looks are important, but they're only skin deep. There are plenty of rubbish-looking sites around that keep their owners very busy. SEO is about a kind of X-ray vision that looks past sophisticated design to what is underneath; at the same time of course, a better looking site MIGHT produce better conversion rates, but good prices and competitive deals more so.

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    • ClickyB agrees : An astute observation and very nicely put :lol!:
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    RDT
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    Originally Posted by mickh
    Well after telling a client his travel site had finally made it to page 1 on Google yesterday (or the day before), and that I'll be sending an invoice this week, it is now worse than before, on page 3.

    Whatever is going on it is REALLY annoying!
    Tell me about it!!! But I have to say that I would be REAL happy on Page 3 at the moment!
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    Dude, what i can see about your website is that you have done a lot of keyword spamming in your meta. Google have just replied with an answer to that. What you were witnessing your site between page 38 and page 42 is probably due to your connections with different datcenters.
    Although you said you had good bit number of links but your site is not optimized properly. Along with links there are many other things that matter for Proper SEO.

    Do make sure that your server is not down from time to time coz that does hurt rankings a lot. i have came across few websites with symptoms like this due to they being placed on bad servers.

    thanks
    Rahul
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    the top website flquote.com deserves that position. Very good bit of SEO done with it.

    If you can try taking some lessons from that one.

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    • GaryTheScubaGuy agrees : Yea it looks like a "Brad" site. Good work too.
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    Keyword Density


    I'm certainly not gong to claim to be an expert SEO person however if you look at your keyword density between the two of you there is a big difference.

    Florida Health Insurance

    # of times Keywords appear on main page:

    Florida: His Site: 53, Your Site: 35

    Insurance: His Site: 118, Your Site: 44

    Health Insurance: His Site: 78, Your Site: 18

    Florida Health Insurance: His Site 23, Your Site: 10

    His site mentions keywords many more times than yours so that is why he can stay near the top. I would suggest doing the same on your main page with the keywords mentioned above an you will eventually make the Top 10 at some point but it still won't happen overnight and may take 3 to 6 months.

    Like a previous poster getting ranked highly has nothing to do with looks and is based on proper SEO.
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    Originally Posted by wxman
    I'm certainly not gong to claim to be an expert SEO person however if you look at your keyword density between the two of you there is a big difference.

    Florida Health Insurance

    # of times Keywords appear on main page:

    Florida: His Site: 53, Your Site: 35

    Insurance: His Site: 118, Your Site: 44

    Health Insurance: His Site: 78, Your Site: 18

    Florida Health Insurance: His Site 23, Your Site: 10

    His site mentions keywords many more times than yours so that is why he can stay near the top. I would suggest doing the same on your main page with the keywords mentioned above an you will eventually make the Top 10 at some point but it still won't happen overnight and may take 3 to 6 months.

    Like a previous poster getting ranked highly has nothing to do with looks and is based on proper SEO.
    Well, I have to disagree with you, because if you look at some of the top websites in the SERP's for some of the most outrageously competitive search terms in existence, you will see some very low key word density. One prime example is for the search term "computer." The number one position is held by Apple.com, with a PageRank of TEN. You want to know how many times the word "computer" appears on that page?..... drum roll please..............................1! I believe high key word density is a thing of the past, and Google will treat it as spam if it's abused. A high number of quality key word rich anchor text backlinks, is weighed MUCH more heavily than key word density on your actual site, so I really don't think my problem lies there.

    Also, I never said anything about looks of a page in relation with SEO results. I merely stated that if you're going to have a high positioned website AS A RESULT of proper SEO, and therefore gets a lot of traffic, you should have a site that is appealing to the visitors that you're driving to it from all of the hard efforts you put into getting that high traffic there. I KNOW that looks have nothing to do with proper SEO results, but it helps to have a good looking and user friendly website to generate a higher response, once those visitors start to come in at higher numbers.

    RDT
    Last edited by brandall; Apr 17th, 2006 at 10:27 AM.
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    Well, I'm throwing my hands up this time because it looks like they have set me on page 37 from the time being, after steadily moving up and being on page 6 recently. I have no idea why I have dropped so far all of a sudden, but I am determined to find out what it is.

    As mentioned earlier, my key word meta tag might be looked at as being a little spammy, but I was only using a technique that a friend of mine was using, and who was (and still is) in the number one position for an extremely competitive search term "health insurance" (Healthinsurancefinders.com). He has since changed his key word meta tag from this format, and I have failed to do so yet, but I don't think that is the sole reason of being dropped 31 pages in a day's time.

    Also mentioned was key word density, but I KNOW that's not the reason for them to drop me all of a sudden that many pages. In addition, I answered to that with proof of a website that holds the number one spot for "computer" which only mentions that key word ONE time on their home page, along with having a PR10 rating. From what I have seen from many top sites for very competitive search terms, key word density doesn't seem to be that important with Google, if at all.

    If anyone can give me any suggestions on why such a sudden drop in the SERP's for me, I would appreciate it. I am currently on the first page of MSN, and they have always seemed to like me, but Google has always given me a very hard time. But that's ok, I like a challenge, it gives me something to think about.

    RDT
    Last edited by brandall; Apr 17th, 2006 at 10:26 AM.
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    Just be patient and keep getting anchored text links and adding content. I have seen this exact thing happen to my site recently and in the past at least 2 times over a 2 year period.

    It all worked itself out eventually.

    For the last 1 year I have been in top 10 in google for my main keywords and last month spent the whole month at number 1.

    Today, my site is going back and forth from 45 - 55 and has been that way since the start of April. As with your site mine is financial related.

    Good luck,
    ebg
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    Originally Posted by ebg
    Just be patient and keep getting anchored text links and adding content. I have seen this exact thing happen to my site recently and in the past at least 2 times over a 2 year period.

    It all worked itself out eventually.

    For the last 1 year I have been in top 10 in Google for my main keywords and last month spent the whole month at number 1.

    Today, my site is going back and forth from 45 - 55 and has been that way since the start of April. As with your site mine is financial related.

    Good luck,
    ebg
    Oh thanks EBG, that's encouraging. However, I would have LOVED to have dropped only 44 - 54 SPOTS, as opposed to 31 PAGES...lol. Yeah, I know what you're saying, and I have experienced a sudden drop like this before, but not of this magnitude. Also, I have NEVER been in the top 10 of Google, the best I have ever been was at the top of the 5th page.

    The thing that gets me is that the site I mentioned that holds the top position for my key words (Flquote.com), hardly EVER fluctuates from his comfy number 1 spot, and when he does, he usually only drops one spot, but then right back up to the King of the Hill again after a couple of days. It's obvious that him, or his SEO guy has Google's number when it comes to proper SEO for this search term.

    But I know that over time I can give this guy some competiton, because I am determined to get mine up there too. I currently have him beat with the number of Google indexed backlinks (him 21 - me 39), so I guess I have some hope with my goal. Thanks again for your encouraging words EBG, and good luck with your positioning too.

    Anyone else with any words of advice? Thanks.

    RDT
    Last edited by brandall; Apr 17th, 2006 at 10:26 AM.
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    ebg
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    RDT -

    I watch the results in my niche a bunch and have seen the same thing you are talking about. For about 1 1/2 years one of my competitors in the number 1 slot never moved. Then suddenly this year all of the sudden some google change made it move similar to what you are seeing.

    It completely moved to like page 38 and at one point I could not even find the site in google search results although it still showed PR and backlinks.

    The site did eventually make it back in the top 10 and for some months it has been number 1, but it definitely moves a lot more than it use to. For instance in this current change google is doing this site is moving such as mine is.

    So you never know, your competitior might not be that bullet proof and might start moving with some future G changes.

    Anyway, just thought this might be helpful.

    ebg.
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    Originally Posted by ebg
    RDT -

    I watch the results in my niche a bunch and have seen the same thing you are talking about. For about 1 1/2 years one of my competitors in the number 1 slot never moved. Then suddenly this year all of the sudden some google change made it move similar to what you are seeing.

    It completely moved to like page 38 and at one point I could not even find the site in google search results although it still showed PR and backlinks.

    The site did eventually make it back in the top 10 and for some months it has been number 1, but it definitely moves a lot more than it use to. For instance in this current change google is doing this site is moving such as mine is.

    So you never know, your competitior might not be that bullet proof and might start moving with some future G changes.

    Anyway, just thought this might be helpful.

    ebg.
    Hey thanks EBG. Yes, I appreciate that information very much, it makes me feel a lot better. By the way, from being on page 37 as of yesterday, they put me all the way up to page 5 today (#4 on that page)...lol! So, they definitely shift me down like that before they move me back up for some reason. Well, I hope that I see a steady move up from now on. It's just that it gives you a heart attack and makes you start assuming the worst, you know? Thanks again for your positive input and words of encouragement.
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    Ok, this is REALLY starting to get annoying. I guess I got my hopes up too quickly. The last post I made today was at 6:30pm eastern, and my site was back up to page 5 in the search results, from being on page 37 yesterday. I go out for a couple three hours and come back, and now I'm on page 39!!!

    Why such HUGE fluctuations in just a few hours time??? Does anyone know why this occurs, and why so frequently? Why can't they make up their minds on where they want to put me? Do you think that my site's SEO is confusing them, and therefore they are confusing me in the process? It just doesn't make any sense at all, and I am sure that there is no simple answer to all this, but I wish they would just cool it for a bit.
    Last edited by RDT; Apr 17th, 2006 at 09:06 PM.
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    Ok, if you believe this... just 45 minutes later and now I'm back on page 5, from being on page 39.
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