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9 Reasons Your Keyword’s Rankings are Fluctuating and How to Deal with Them!

Home / Blog / 9 Reasons Your Keyword’s Rankings are Fluctuating and How to Deal with Them!
9 Reasons Your Keyword’s Rankings are Fluctuating and How to Deal with Them!


Are you noticing your Google rankings climbing up one day and then falling down a few days later?

You don’t need to panic if your Google ranking dropped dramatically! There is often a perfectly normal reason for the rankings to fluctuate frequently. If you have been working with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you would know that it’s a long-term process to build and stabilize the keyword rankings.

For companies local to Houston, TX, you will be trying to rank for the keywords specific to Houston and your specific products. So, it’s essential to understand the factors that influence the fluctuations of your search engine rankings and see if there’s anything you can do about it.

In this blog, let’s see some of the most important reasons for fluctuating rankings and how Houston SEO companies can help you.

A Deep Dive Into Why Your Keyword Rankings Are Fluctuating

When you’re able to diagnose the reason behind the increase or decrease in your search engine rankings, you will be able to leverage it to get good web traffic. 

As a Houston SEO company, YellowFin Digital has been helping small businesses and startups to analyze and get to the bottom of these ranking fluctuations for years. After finding the reasons, we offer our Houston SEO services to fix it, if possible, and further pitch in to increase the website traffic and ranking. From our years of practical experience, we have noticed 9 top reasons behind such ranking fluctuations.

Reason #1: You’ve Been Monitoring the Wrong Keywords.

For any website, there are a bunch of keywords that will help their target users to land directly on their website or lead to a conversion in some way. On the other hand, there will always be some keywords that aren’t directly related to the business and wouldn’t be useful for the potential customers searching Google. If you’ve been tracking the ranking of the wrong keywords, then you’re ultimately wasting your time.

Sometimes, you may be tracking a set of keywords for years that may have become outdated. As the language and the way of speaking evolves (such as talk to text), so will the keywords. 

What can you do about it?

The best way to solve this issue is to hire a proper Houston SEO expert to regularly monitor and update those relevant keywords. Tracking the right keywords is the primary step to observe ranking fluctuations.

Reason #2: Your Webpage Is No Longer Relevant to the Keyword.

If you notice, the relevancy of the webpage is the leading factor on which Google bases the ranking. When your web page content is no longer relevant to the search queries, you can notice a massive drop in the rankings. 

This could happen mostly due to two main reasons. You may have changed your web page or business over the years and that webpage is becoming outdated. Or, the needs of the people searching for that keyword have changed. There can also be a rare third reason where there is a new meaning trending for the keyword you’re ranking, mostly in the tech sector.

What can you do about it?

A website is not a one-time and it’s done job. You need to regularly optimize your website content to make it relevant for the keywords that lead to direct conversions. Our SEO Houston experts are the best at monitoring the keywords and the web page relevancy and performing minor changes to keep it updated.

Reason #3: There’s a Sudden Surge Due to a Recent Trend.

You may have been ranking for a particular Houston keyword for a long time. One day, you may see your website has been pushed to page two. This can be due to a sudden trend and there are new websites that have published better content optimized according to the Houston SEO factors.

What can you do about it?

If you already have a good ranking for a current trend, you’ve hit a gold mine! You can capitalize on that trend and further boost your rankings with proper SEO optimization.

Reason #4: There Are New Players on the Rise.

Whenever you have a new competitor, you will see a shift in your keyword rankings. This is totally natural and it would disturb not just your rankings, but most other websites in that keyword category as well. As soon as the ranking position shifts, it could lead to substantial fluctuations for some time, after which it tends to stabilize until the next competitor comes in.

What can you do about it?

The best thing you can do in this situation is to keep improving your website ranking and SEO worthiness and try to retain or increase your spot. You can hire an experienced SEO agency in Houston, TX to regularly work on your website to ensure that it isn’t falling more due to such competitors.

Reason #5: It’s Just the Natural Ranking Fluctuations Due to the Low Keyword Rankings.

One thing we have noticed over the years of offering SEO services in Houston is that there are more fluctuations for websites that are ranking lower than there are in the higher ranks. There will be huge competition in the lower rankings and therefore, even a small tweak could have a huge impact.

What can you do about it?

You can, of course, try to increase your rankings to a higher position to enjoy better stability. But, you should remember that even in higher ranking, there will be fluctuations in two or three positions higher or lower. Until you climb higher in the keyword ranking, you can make minor tweaks to retain your current position. 

Reason #6: You Haven’t Factored in the Geolocational Variances.

Have you noticed that the rankings for some keywords are entirely different based on the location you’re searching from? 

It’s because search engines give importance to locations from where the search was made. According to the 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors published on Moz, the proximity of the address to the point of the search is the number one ranking factor.

So when you don’t include location-specific content on your website, it can negatively affect your rankings.

What can you do about it?

Include location-specific information as much as you can! When your business is local to Houston, optimization of the website with Houston-related keywords will increase your rankings. You can hire a local Houston SEO agency to help you figure out the various ways by which you can increase the ranking in your location of business.

Reason #7: You Haven’t Properly Redirected or Changed Your Links. 

There are times when you change your website domain or change the web pages linking to a URL. If you don’t include proper redirects, it could significantly impact your rankings and your small business marketing.

What can you do about it?

Use 301 redirects when you’re moving a website. Make sure to add XML sitemaps and canonical tags when you update the links. Also, try as much as possible to avoid changing the URLs as it’s interpreted by search engines as a new webpage, even with your old content on it.

Perform link audits regularly to find the broken links and other such issues with redirects to avoid a sudden drop in the rankings. You can hire a good local company offering SEO services Houston to perform regular link audits and correct the issues. At YellowFin Digital, we provide a wholesome audit that includes SEO, links and content that increase your keyword ranking.

Reason #8: There’s a Temporal Interest in Specific Keywords.

There are some keywords that register maximum searches during specific times like Christmas trees, Black Friday sales, winter clothes, etc.

If you are ranking for such keywords, there are bound to so many fluctuations before and during this period.

What can you do about it? 

There is nothing to worry about such fluctuations as it has more to do with the people’s interests than your website. Of course, you can try to build and improve your rankings for such keywords during the peak period.

Reason #9: Google Has Recently Changed Its Algorithm or Rolled Out an Update.

Google regularly makes changes to its ranking algorithms. While most changes aren’t noticeable, some changes may impact the rankings. Sometimes, Google rolls out an update that changes the way the searches are conducted and this could also fluctuate your rankings.

What can you do about it?

Again, this is something that’s out of our control. But one thing to note is that every change that Google and other search engines make is to increase the user-friendliness and relevancy. So when you work with the same intent in your mind, you don’t have to worry about a drastic drop in the rankings during such updates. 

Wrapping Up

You can almost always notice some fluctuations in your rankings. It’s normal when your site moves two places up or down. 

Whenever you observe a huge shift in the keyword rankings, there’s always a strong reason for heavy fluctuations. When you identify the main reason for it, you can work to either resolve the issue or leverage the advantage to improve the position.