What is The Google Dance?
New websites, blog posts, articles, and web pages are created every day. To keep up with this near-constant influx of web content, Google is also constantly updating and adding new pages to its search results. These updates lead to the Google Dance: a term commonly known among web developers and digital marketers.
The Google Dance refers to the phenomenon of website pages jumping ranks as Google adjusts its rankings and re-evaluates pages. The Google Dance is also known as the “random ranking factor”. When you edit or add to a website, it is normal to expect changes in Google’s SERPs. Often, however, the Google Dance causes fluctuations even when nothing has been changed.
The Google Dance Explained
Google’s algorithm is constantly adjusting the ranking of pages on their site; as new website pages are added and old ones are deleted or become defunct, Google updates its results.
Google is constantly crawling through pages, looking for updates and assessing the value and relevance of every page. This naturally leads to fluctuations and changes in how search engine results are ordered.
How Often Does The Google Dance Happen?
In the days of Google’s old algorithm, the Google Dance dramatically altered rankings roughly once a month. With Google’s current algorithm, the website is always updating and analyzing web content, so the fluctuations are less dramatic than they once were.
The Google Dance still changes rankings, and any time you change your website you should anticipate some fluctuation. Some have reported that the most noticeable changes occur on Mondays, but Google rankings can change daily.
Why The Google Dance Matters
The Google Dance is important because it can affect how your website ranks, resulting in more or less traffic to your page through organic searches on Google. The important takeaway about the Google Dance is that often the changes are temporary: while Google re-reads and re-ranks pages, your website may experience small changes in Google search positions.
These fluctuations are normal and should not cause panic. If you immediately try to tinker with your website because of a minor Google Dance fluctuation, it may make things worse and negatively impact your ranking on Google.
The Google Dance and SEO
If your website is being optimized by SEO professionals, Google will notice that changes are being made. Sometimes when Google detects SEO practices, it will temporarily result in a negative impact on your website, ranking it lower.
In the patent for Google’s algorithm, it states clearly that “the rank of a document may initially decrease in response to a positive change in its link-based information. After a period of time, the document’s rank might rise to its new steady state (target) value”.
Google recognizes that a positive change does not necessarily result in an immediate rise in ranking, and may in fact do the opposite. The graph provided shows how positive link building can cause a dip in Google ranking, followed by steady rise.
The key here is patience: Google will reward good, white hat SEO practices slowly if you give it time. If you overreact to a negative jump in your Google search engine results, Google may flag your activity as it recognizes that you are attempting to trick the system to get to page one.
Good SEO takes time. Don’t let the Google Dance undermine your SEO strategies: take the fluctuations in stride and keep implementing quality SEO practices and your Google rankings will slowly rise.