Fickle Whims of Google, Yet Again. Bouncing SERPs

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April 12, 2013 by Brian Rock

Ahh, Google. Sometimes it’s just so hard to figure out what the hell is going on with it.

I’ve been working on my photography blog, Rockin’ Photogs, for a couple months now. It’s been doing reasonably well and slowly growing. I’ve been trying to get a few key articles to move up in the SERPs a little bit, but I haven’t been having too much luck.

Then, this week, I had a stroke of good luck. Over the weekend, I published an article comparing the Canon t5i vs t4i and another article about the release date of the Canon t5i.

I had hoped to capitalize on the fact that the Canon t5i was just announced about two weeks ago. Publishing an article now should help catch a surge in search engine traffic related to the new camera, it’s new features, and comparing it to the previous versions (the Canon t4i and the Canon t3i).

But I was not expecting it to be so successful! After the two articles were indexed, they both ranked near the middle or top of the first page for most of the week. I went from a steady 125 to 150 visits a day before Monday, to over 275 visitors every day this week. Wednesday, I hit a peak of 400 visitors and 500 page views! It was like old times, back before my old blog got busted up by Penguin.

Now, I figured that as time went by I might sink down in the SERPs a bit as more articles were published to compete with mine. These articles had initially ranked with no link building at all – they literally popped to the top for the better part of a week instantly after I hit publish. My plan was to build a few backlinks to the articles this weekend as a defensive maneuver to try and maintain those top spots.

Then, to my surprise, I log in this morning and my stats don’t quite look right. When I checked a few SERPs I found that both of these articles had moved, overnight, from page 1 to page 2. And not by a few spots. The main article (comparing the two cameras) went from the top 3 spots to below 15. Grr…

Which begs the question – is this a sign of things to come? Is this the new home for my articles? I hope not. It’s possible that this is just a “Google dance,” as people call it, where articles pop up and down for a day or two as the index and algorithm come to rest.

It’s not like I moved down because all of the other articles moved up. That would be a logical explanation if one or two articles moved above me, but it’s a much simpler explanation that my article simply moved down.

So, here’s to hoping that this is temporary and my articles will pop back up. I was getting a bit spoiled, seeing those nice traffic numbers, and counting the earnings that come along with it. But, I still have plans to create some backlinks over the weekend, so if nothing else that will hopefully strengthen the posts and bring them back up to the first page.

If these articles can cement a position on page one – even around position 4 or 5 – that would be a long ways towards reaching my first income goal (about $200 / month). I’ve got my fingers crossed…

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