14 Feb 2012

I often get asked about whether to worry about a new site that went up in rankings that then went down in rankings.

There is no reason to worry UNLESS you did something spammy or evil that caused your site to get penalized.

Fluctuation is normal.

If you follow the 12 Step Success Strategy and you were not too aggressive you should be safe from getting hit hard with penalties. We do things the right way so this happens LESS.

That said it’s common for a new site to fluctuate in the rankings. Especially after adding a WordPress blog and all it’s new pages across the blog getting indexed. Alot of those pages are garbage pages.

It’s NOT a problem having those extra pages get indexed – in fact it’s good in the long run – but at first it may dillute some of the relevance.

That’s why it is important to continue linking to your home page and other home pages to show the site isn’t dead or stale and still has value.

How long will fluctuation occur for a new site??? It really depends.

Things always change all across the web that can have an impact. You do things. Other people do things.

Until you gain authority status and trust you just need to keep on showing Google your site is a living growing thing that has value.

Eventually if you do all the right things and very few of the wrong things you will get to the top. You may fluctuate – especially if the competition is trying to one up you.

Until you get #1 and stay there for a while there will be fluctuation.

But at some point you will gain trust and they will want to keep you at the top because they know your URL is delivering value to searchers for the keyword you are ranking for.

Until you have that trust you need to keep your site fresh with new pages and/or posts and also keep fresh links coming in to the most important pages with your keywords (and a few variations here and there).

Eventually if you gain trust and don’t do anything to get in trouble you should stabilize at the top for that URL and also start gaining trust for other related keywords that are on the page.

That’s what I refer to as hitting “Critical Mass” and achieving authority status for your niche.

There are too many variables to know exactly why things happen – but that’s the basic concept.

More on Critical Mass – watch the webinar replay video!

Feb 14th by Mike L


  1. Is this normal?
    If I search on my computer am number1 for my targeted keyword.
    But on other computers I am not!

    Mike L

  2. Hi, I think your article is well done and gives me more understanding about ranking fluctuations. thanks for the clarity.

    Mike L

  3. Make sure you use a different browser that is NOT logged in when you check rankings and you should get a better result. also clear cookies from time to time in case there is geo info. I use ccleaner (free) to wipe out cookies every few days.

    Mike L

  4. Posting new content is important- even PLR will do.

    Mike L

  5. Actually, even my more established sites fluctuate a bit. The web is dynamic and the search engines are working to keep current. Eventually things settle down somewhat, but even the Wikipedias and Amazons have pages that move around a bit from day to day, or even hour to hour it seems.

    And yes, results can be skewed if you are logged into some sites or have been cookied with traces of your previous activity, and even by your physical location.

    Most browsers now an option to surf “anonymously” or in “private” (or however they phrase it) – – I find opening a secure window gets you the most unbiased search results.

    Mike L

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    A Very Important Concept