Why Do Search Engine Rankings Change Frequently? 

Every business wants high rankings from top search engines like Google to enjoy more web traffic to their website, but the ranking may change frequently for many reasons. One could be the growing competition in the marketplace with more businesses sprouting. Another could be the change in search algorithms executed by search engines.

It is possible for a website ranking to change even on the same device or browser as well as keywords or search term. Many business owners, marketers and webmasters may be perplexed at this challenging phenomenon where they know it is necessary to maintain a high ranking for their website in order to attract the right crowd to their business shores.

Reasons for Ranking Change

Many business owners and webmasters are unfamiliar with Google’s search algorithm or its ranking evaluation execution that causes the frequent changes to their site ranking. It should be understood that the ranking changes are actually quite intentional which could be problematic and disconcerting for marketers and businesses.

However, there are specific reasons for the ranking of any website to change frequently. Companies that realize these changes could be better geared towards market success with higher web traffic to their business shores.

1) Algorithm Actualization

Website ranking by search engines is executed based on a special evaluation program known as an algorithm which updates the website features and standard in two ways. Firstly, the algorithm could be new or updated quite significantly; just like Google, which showcased its Penguin search algorithm that functioned in real time, but its Panda search algorithm is a central algorithm with many updates over time.

These are the primary search algorithms which business owners and webmasters should be alerted to for the website standard in the market in order to enjoy higher rankings by Google on their sites regardless of niche and business type. Top search engines like Google are constantly monitoring the market conditions and latest technologies as well as changing consumer demands to offer the best of online interaction experiences for the web user. Hence, it is not surprising that these search engines are proactive in updating or generating more dynamic search algorithms that push businesses and all online site owners to provide the best of facilities at all times.

2) Market Competition

As market competition fluctuates, every business is kept on its toes to meet changing market trends and consumer demands. Different seasons may bring on different consumer expectations in conjunction with changing technologies. Hence, the ranking game is a zero-sum game where website or web pages’ rankings may change overnight.

If the ranking of one page improves, another is pushed down in the SERP listing. Search engine optimization is highly coveted to prevent the drop in any page ranking; hence, SEO is an endless process which marketers and business owners need to exercise constantly to stay in the marketing game. SEO is never a single effort as competitors can come into the picture stealthily to cause a fall to the market position of the business. As the competition grows intense in the market, business owners and marketers continue to be desperate in keeping pace with the latest search algorithm changes to stay in the competition.

3) Manual Search Engine Criminalization

As technology improves, more dynamic ways of marketing spring up to ease the workload of business owners and marketers; however, a lot more unethical activities may abound at the same time where spammers and hackers may try to override the system. There may also be certain ‘creative solutions’ which innovative marketers and webmasters may resort to in order to push up their website rankings.

This is where Google enforces manual actions through human reviewers who determine if the web pages are compatible or not with the specific guidelines of Google search algorithms. The reasons for enforcing manual actions to enjoy high page rankings by Google include identification of hacked sites and user-generated spam. Manual actions would allow Google search algorithms to identify artificial backlinks and dissimulation as well as thin content which are not acceptable to web users.

4) Google AdWords Ads

Another good reason for ranking changes is the placements of online ads such as practiced by Google where its AdWords Pay-per-Click advertising service displays ads on the SERP listing. These ads could be found at its first page at the top of its SERP listing. These ads are powerful in changing the appearance of results viewed.

An online search may display a business website as number one in ranking based on the preferred keyword phrase, but on another system, the ranking and ad position could change. Hence, companies are inclined towards search engines which would offer better page rankings on a consistent basis to boost their market presence and brand awareness. With Google AdWords advertisements, companies are more assured of higher rankings by Google, which is regarded as one of the most powerful and dynamic search engines in the market. The strong influence of Google in the market with its online ads is likely to attract more targeted audiences to the company’s shores and brands.

5) Previously Clicked Google Links

Search engine rankings could change due to the constant keywords used in any online search by web users. If the displayed listing selections are repeatedly clicked on specific links, the search engine rankings could be impacted. Frequently clicked links could send a message through to Google on its popularity to boost its website ranking.

Frequently visited pages could be displayed more frequently in online searches; hence, that ranking of that page could be pushed up which creates a false impression of a higher ranking.


Understanding why search engine rankings change has frequently been used for companies which seek higher traffic to their websites. Business owners and marketers are able to identify the cause of ranking change that could impact their marketing plans and strategies.

Companies could also hire professional SEO companies with search engine marketing skills to analyze the market conditions carefully to track such ranking fluctuations and concerns. This could ease the stress on business owners and marketers who provide multiple products and services on multiple platforms.


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Dean McDonald

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