Explanation to Jumps in SERPs

google dance algorithm

Many website owners and even SEO companies need to understand why rank transitions in the Google search results happen?

So, what is Google Dance? 

The Google Dance Algorithm is a popular topic in SEO Communities with many asking “Why Rankings Jump in the SERPs (search results) so much?”

If you are wondering why the rankings are improving and tanking in the search engines you need to understand everything in this article in full.

Why Google SERP Rank Positions Fluctuate?

There are a few reasons as to why your keywords could be jumping in the search results which are:

  1. Recently Built Some New Links – this article will explain the patents google use
  2. Not covering the topic on your page in its entirety and utilising latent semantic indexing keywords correctly
  3. Content Cannibalization – stop those conflicting web pages with overlapping content
  4. Topical clusters are more important than ever so checking your silo structure on internal links
  5. Link Velocity has slowed down or even stopped building links directed to your website
  6. Content Depth is lacking and you need to build more supporting documents to educate search engines you are the expert
  7. Backlinks have dropped off losing authority as link loss is a negative google serp ranking factor
  8. Your content is lacking quality. Check the most in-depth content guide to improving your on-page SEO
  9. The click-through rate ratios are low compared to the competition in the google serps position
  10. New backlinks have over-optimised your anchor texts in the web sites link profile
  11. Not utilising multimedia-rich content and optimising your images throughout your site
  12. The technical SEO is lacking on your website build with slow pages and bad site architecture
  13. The conversion rate optimisation is low and not sending positive user experience signals back to Google
  14. Old pages outdated as google loves the freshness of content to know it is recent and up to date for their google serp top positions
  15. Trusted signals coming from social with traffic entering your website from social media regularly
  16. Refreshed google ranking algorithm devalued your existing link building profile with penguin algorithm updates
  17. Gaps in your content that should be covered hence the reason content plan roadmaps are very important to cover the whole topic in its entirety

The list above shows many reasons as to why your website might have dropped in Google SERP Rank Positions.

There are over 200 search engine ranking factors but I feel this list is the main SEO SERP factors as to why your google ranking might have dropped dramatically.

Onpage Reasons Web Pages Jumping Up And Down

The jumps in the SERPs can be because of many onpage ranking factors.

I will try to cover these quickly and link to a more comprehensive guide to each ranking factor if you want to understand this more.

Site Audit

The first thing to do is carry out a site audit on sitebulb, screaming frog or semrush.

The semrush site audit tool has become the best audit tool in November 2020 as they have advanced their audits hugely recently.

Here you can register for a free site audit to check out how amazing it is.


Covering Page Topic In Its Entirety

If you are writing an article on a topic then you really need to cover the whole intent of the page.

Google will start to show your page for all queries on that particular topic and if the user signals are bad dramatically drop you in the rankings if it does not cover the intent in its entirety.

This video shows how you can still be ranking #1 for your main keyword on the page but the traffic to that post or page has dropped significantly because you have not optimised for all the secondary keywords Google would expect that article to cover.

As the video shows above, do not just focus on individual keywords. Try to scoop all the secondary keywords also that article should be covering.

Many web owners think they have been hit by a Panda Penalty to when traffic drops significantly. They initially get impressions and traffic for the secondary keywords that Google associate with the title. However as the topic is not covered, they lose this very fast. This causes the traffic to drop. when searching this in Google Search Console or third-party tools like ahref or semrush.

Treble Traffic Value

If you cover the page topic in its entirety you could treble the traffic value. In contrast to optimising only for the primary focus keyphrase.
Pro Tip: When ordering content for an article never give a word count to your writer but just say “cover the page intent in its entirety”. If it is a very precise article this might mean only 800 words of content written. In contrast, if it is a guide then this could end up being 6000 words to cover all the intent needed. Covering the secondary phrases is key to success and helps the article rank better for the primary terms.

Keep Building Links

The issue is many new individuals in the Search Engine Optimization industry or large growth hacking agencies fail. This is because when sites start to jump in the SERPs people stop building links to the site. They automatically presume the issue is on-page and stop the off-page link building until they address this problem. However, stopping the backlinks just brings your link velocity down and this can affect the website.

You should all know that the algorithm is not as advanced as people make out. It is very simple guys and you need quality content and backlinks. If you are not ranking on page one then you need more content and more links. Obviously, there are other ranking factors but the core algorithm works on this basis. So never stop building links because you certainly need to maintain link velocity to rank.

Recently Built Backlinks Google Dance Explanation

I recently read a post which highlighted the reasons why your backlinks are not helping the rankings to improve. In this post there was a vital source of information that linked to the Google patent. click here to view this patented system by google.

The patent abstract is:

“A system determines a first rank associated with a document and determines a second rank associated with the document, where the second rank is different from the first rank.

The system also changes, during a transition period that occurs during a transition from the first rank to the second rank, a transition rank associated with the document based on a rank transition function that varies the transition rank over time without any change in ranking factors associated with the document.”

Once you have read this Google patent you will understand the algorithm is set up to have a two-pronged attack. This means that when you create search engine optimization techniques that might positively impact your rankings in the SERPs, it can carry out a negative result for a short period of time.

Google Dance Jumps

For example, if you build some authority links to your site which would be expected to improve the rankings, but your SERP position drops out of nowhere. Many people’s first response would be to panic and try to remove whatever they have just done in an attempt to get the ranking back up.

However, during this period you need to be patient and carry on doing your SEO strategies. Do not try to remove or tweak anything that looks like it has been bad for the site.

Patience Is Key

Being patient is key in November 2020. If in the time frame they lower your rankings, you start to tweak elements to recoup it back then as it is in ‘monitoring’ stage the big G will see you are trying to carry out SEO.

Algorithm changes occur regularly. Algorithm updates can alter your search results page, so it is best not to get disheartened.

If Google sees this and thinks you are trying to manipulate the search results they might decide to keep your site in the lower rank. This is why it’s vital not to panic if your rankings unexpectedly drop after you apply some new SEO techniques. If you start making even more changes and Google thinks your activity is suspicious, you could lose your rankings completely.

Since Matt Diggity published the article, this one has also been released explaining the same information so if you want to read further into this check out – http://semanticmastery.com/google-dance/ 

Social Signals To Build Trust

What normal site has links built to it but then no traffic or social? The answer is simple – none.

If you are attracting links then they must have initially been on your site to think I will link to that as a resource.

So to help with the justification of your backlinks and building trust then read this article on purchasing social signals to help the health of your website.

Dropped Off Or Devalued Links

Another potential reason for your rankings jumping around could be to do with existing links dropping off. This could be expiring domains or even that Google has devalued a chunk of the internet.

This happens a lot and all the more reason to keep building fresh links to combat this. Just make sure you are choosing the correct anchor text because when links are dropping off I find many instances where over optimisation of anchor text comes into play. Read this article to be creative with future tense anchor text options.

Google Dance aka Random Ranking Factor

To quickly sum up the article, the Google dance is certainly real and is also known as the ‘random ranking factor’. So for growth hacking strategies make sure you understand this because Rome was not built in a day. Therefore you need time for your work to be calculated by the algorithms before panicking.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the Google dance and why your search engine rankings are jumping up and down.


Test and monitor all the potential reasoning as to why before asking questions.  Is is normally really easy to see the problem. Do not panic and be patient to the ranking positioning and if you are in need of more enquiries for your business of clients then consider this zero risk supply of leads and white label to your customers because with a hands-off approach could earn you some serious money.

Google Com Search Algorithm Dancing

The algorithm dancing definition is seeing your website jump both up and down in Google search engine results page. People can become obsessed by individual keyphrases positioning instead of building out topic related to traffic growth.

Digital Workshop

I am personally running a new workshop at my office called the digital workshop that is going to run through all aspects of optimising your website. Or some might say manipulating the search results your website ranks.

Google Search Dance

Utilising the SEO techniques that rank well in November 2020 is key. So making sure your technical SEO is perfect as this is the foundations of your website. Then your content is long tail and you are utilizing LSI variations to keyword research.

The design of your site to improve CTR and lower bounce rate is huge onsite importance. Then lastly building backlinks to your site to give it plenty of authority.

Pro Tip To Take Away On Google Dance to Individual Keyphrases

Stop obsessing over tracking all your individual keyphrases. Stop monitoring semrush or google AdWords to check what gets you the most search volume. Instead just go after these phrases. But start to create a content depth website which goes after all the long tail around these phrases. Scoop up all those pennies and pick up the long tail variations.

Why do this?

  1. It will drive you traffic faster as easier to rank
  2. Long tail normally has more buying intent behind the searches
  3. It adds content depth to the website and supporting articles
  4. Gives more content theme around your main money keyword
  5. You can carry out link building to all these supporting articles and through silo power your money page
  6. The how to, what is type articles get more traction on social media shares which drives traffic

You need to look at all avenues to generate traffic to your sites, including link building and content optimisation.

Traffic is becoming more of a ranking signal and moving forward I can only see this playing a bigger part in the ranking factors. It is not easy and is a slog to do this but build your content depth up asap.

Common Questions Asked About the Google Dance

Here is a collection of terms asked or searched for when not understanding the google dance:-

  • Why is my web pages jumping up and down?
  • Why did my website drop in google ranking?
  • How has my google ranking dropped dramatically?
  • Why does my web page keeps jumping around?
  • Why does my site keep disappearing from google?
  • What to do when serps ranking jumping up and down in search engine?

All these questions are asked when they do not understand the google dance or random ranking factor. The truth is Google does not want you carrying out search engine optimisation because it would prefer you doing PPC and paying them for advertising on their platform.

Website Traffic Peaks and Troughs

The main reason for traffic to your website peaks and troughs is generally to do with fluctuations in the serp rankings.

But also bear in mind if you are just looking at traffic stats thinking your website has been penalised then it might not always be to do with rankings.

Some services are very seasonal so purchasing of BBQs is searched mainly in summer and de-icer products in the winter.

Holidays or special events can all affect your traffic levels so make sure when checking the peaks and troughs in traffic statistics then you understand weekends vs midweek might affect these jumps also to happen.

Costs To Fix The Google Dance SERP Positioning

The costs to fix and repair your google search engine results page (SERPs) rank positions will depend on a number of factors.

A full website audit both for on-page ranking factors and offpage will need to be researched and assessed.

The prices will then be determined on what work is needed to be carried out by an SEO Agency to improve your Google results.

Free Help on SERPs Ranking Jumps

Ok, so I have decided to help completely for free anyone having search engine results page ranking jumps in google.

The end of the day chaps you do not know what you do not know so make sure to ask questions in the comments below even just to reassure yourself.

This is because I want to gather a lot of testing through tweaks and therefore will give completely free of charge help.

Questions on the Google Dance

But before asking any questions please return here to the top of the page and read the various links for each of the reasons Why Google SERP Rank Positions Fluctuate? Because these links explain in more detail which possible ranking factor you might be struggling on.

In return I want you to comment on this article for some reason you might think your website is jumping in the search engine results page.

Get commenting and for a limited time, I will help you combat the google dance.

All SEO Related Posts

Check out the in-depth list of SEO posts.

The full list shows the various SEO strategies to help your online marketing knowledge grow fast in November 2020.

James Dooley

About James Dooley

Digital Nomad who loves travelling the world networking while working on my laptop. Life is a perception of your own reality. You have no excuses and should be making memories every single day #LearnSomethingNew #Develop #Synergy #Network


  • Jonny says:

    That’s completely true, James. But I have a doubt: how long it happens? You said: “for a short period of time”, but I have websites in which it’s been like 40 days since it first dropped after adding a good link and it still remains there.

    • James Dooley says:

      That wont be the google dance and sounds more like you have over optimised something there. Probably your anchor text so have a look what anchor text you used and if it was exact match theres a good chance you have over done it for this keyword. Maybe send some more links to that page but keep it naked urls, branded or generic to lower the percentage of exact match backlinks. Hope this helps and let me know how it goes.

      If still struggling I can take a look for you if you like?

      • Basil says:

        James, I have the same dance as Jonny said. I have a new website age about 8 months, 4 – 5 pages stabile, but others always jumps. I think you right about over optimization.
        I’ll be happy if you can take a look and give me your consultation

  • Mohd Arif says:

    since last 2 month, I am facing this problem every 3, 4 days my site traffic goes high and another 5 or 6 days traffic goes down..I always published detail article on my site and submit every post on social media and various social bookmarking sites.
    Do you know how many days this google dance can take?

  • James Dooley says:

    Thanks for the comment. You should probably wait and see if the rankings come back up. If they don’t it could be that you have done too much at once. Try not to build a lot of links at the same time, spread it out over time instead to make it more natural.

  • Alvin Lau says:

    i noticed my articles keep going up and down if they are new. Is that normal?

  • Anthony Mark says:

    I started my web design and seo business when I was dying in hospital (burst ulcer) and with a £60 JSA. I was able to sign on sick but I didn’t want to stop working. Now I am writing to you from my office and I am grossing over £30k per year, though that has gone down from last.

    My website serps are going crazy and I am a little lost on what is going on and which course of action I should take first. I don’t want to do something that makes it worse.
    My main target keyword has always been “Internet Marketing Company” I have been on page one on Google.co.uk for that before for a month or two before PANDA. From the calls I was getting I know that getting back there will help me take my business up to the next level.

    But from the day of the latest Core update my serps have been acting crazy. I had managed to get it settled around page 5 before then but it started dancing between page 30 and page 10. Which it has been doing since. What’s strange is that currently when I search for my website from my PC at home I cannot find it anywhere in the serps. But from my office here I find it on page 10?
    I checked to make sure it was not just my personal results by using another browser that was not logged into my Google account.

    And I know that different data exchanges take time to update. I guess I should try and work out if it comes from a ‘direction’. I mean if the changes happen at home or in the office first. But I am finding it hard to keep up with the changes to figure out what’s going on. I have never quite seen anything like this before so would appreciate a second opinion.

    • James Dooley says:

      Thanks for reaching out.

      From looking at your website then you have real panda issues because of the amount of thin pages. I would strongly recommend you looking at improving your content strategy.

      Your backlinks seem quite good but if you yourself added the ‘Built by Mark Digital Media’ then I would recommend changing these links to dofollow links as they are currently set as nofollow.

      But Mark please take a look at your sites content because majority of your pages have less than 300 words so get these much more indepth.

  • I would just like to thank you for spending the time to run through the data we provided you on this. You was able to correlate it into actionable tasks for my team and appreciate all your time. I have shared your article throughout social and thanks again.

    • James Dooley says:

      It took us plenty of time but we got there in the end. More importantly we gathered the results you needed and happy with the outcome. Speak soon and keep regular checks.

  • Mark Dawson says:

    WOW the transformation since your indepth audit has been so good. The rankings have jumped in positions better than ever. Very happy with the services provided and cannot wait for the backlinks to start next month.

    • James Dooley says:

      Hahaha Mark. I could not believe how many technical issues there was but it is all clean now. There is several months of hard work because it is not just the links needed but also plenty of content needs adding also. But we will get there and start receiving plenty of leads soon.

  • hi, James, I made the 1 page site on parasite and ranked it page 1 for various keywords but now most of the keywords gone to not found from page 1 and sometimes it appears again on page 1. I am not able to figure out what is wrong? can you help?

    • James Dooley says:

      Yes I can help you out for sure. The first thing to check would be doing a link audit which we will do for free. Can you send me your website domain and couple of your keywords having trouble to rank and will let you know why?

  • Louise Keane says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment
    but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow,
    just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  • lasertest says:

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care
    for such information much. I was looking for this
    certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • Ashish says:

    Recently (1 month 12 days ago) i published a article. my article randomly up and down (7page to 4page then after few days my article going very down – 4page to 9page)
    So, my question is WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW

  • zubaru01 says:

    I think what you posted made a great deal
    of sense. But, think about this, suppose you composed
    a catchier post title? I ain’t suggesting your information isn’t solid,
    but what if you added a title to maybe grab people’s attention? I
    mean Google Dance – Explanation to Jumps in SERPs Ranking
    – FatRank is kinda vanilla. You might glance at Yahoo’s front page and see how they create news titles to grab viewers to open the links.
    You might try adding a video or a pic or two to grab readers interested about everything’ve written. Just
    my opinion, it could make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  • Chavi says:

    Nice blog James! I have been working on a website for the past 20 days now and the site wasn’t showing anywhere on SERPs results. I managed to get the website under 60 in SERPs, but yesterday suddenly, seven out of my ten keywords are not showing on SERPs anywhere. I am very scared as to why it happened, I am creating quality backlinks, I just hope the ranking gets improved soon.

  • James Dooley says:

    Yes I am happy to take a look at your website to check this. Please send me your domain and I will see how we can help on this.

  • Deon says:

    There is definately a great deal to learn about this topic.
    I really like all of the points you’ve made.

  • zimbawe01 says:

    Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  • I read this post completely on the topic of the comparison of newest and earlier technologies, it’s amazing

  • James Dooley says:

    A plugin alone will not help you to rank better. Check out our intro to seo here https://www.fatrank.com/introduction-to-search-engine-optimisation/

  • Dirk Rabinovitch says:

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

    Everytime I visit this site I spend hours reading through multiple articles because love the knowledge the share openly.

    • James Dooley says:

      Thank you for spending the time and effort to go through all my blogs.

      It takes a lot of time in collating the information and glad you appreciate the work and learning from it.

  • Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

  • seo blog says:

    Excellent post! We will be linking to this great post on our site.
    Keep up the good writing.

  • Frank says:

    Hi James, Our e-commerce site has lost rankings after September 25 which I am assuming was the recent core update from google.. In addition, we have Since November 20 seen what appears to be the google dance. in a big way. The site previously ranked very well – however it seems something is going on that we simply can not work out why….

    • James Dooley says:

      Thanks for reaching out and if you want me to take a look we can do. From our own tests and research on the biggest gains and losses then we found a big update on Sept 23rd was mainly down to topical clusters.

      1) Not enough supporting docs
      2) The internal linking was not tight enough and was linking all over the place

      If you want me to take a look I can do but if you are not happy to share your money page url then check the quantity of links in your nav bar, sidebar and footer then try to reduce these down slightly because try to keep the links nowadays tight between relevant clusters as much as possible.

      The google dance was many factors though and you could be jumping in the serps for many other reasons but it is only because you mentioned end of september I say this above.

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