Day 18: Understanding the Google Dance

I have received a couple of questions about new sites bouncing around in the rankings on Google.  So, I wanted to write a post on this subject as I believe it causes a lot of concern for people.

When a new site is ranking well and then bounces down significantly or disappears completely; this is often referred to as the “Google Dance”.  In reality, the sites usually bounce back and often to a higher position than when they started.  This can happen multiple times for a new site, and is not out of the ordinary.

For example, let me share my experience with one of my sites in particular.  When it was first indexed, it was ranking about #6 on Google, which I was very happy about!  However, after I started building lots of backlinks to the site, it one day disappeared from the results pages…I was devastated.

After doing some hunting, I did find out that it was ranking about 149 for its main keyword.  I continued to build backlinks, and then about a week later it showed up at #4 in the Google results!  (I noticed because suddenly I was getting Adsense Earnings from this site again).

Then about 2 weeks or a month later, the site again dropped out of the rankings.  This is very frustrating as you can imagine.  This time my site was no where to be found for nearly 3 or 4 weeks.  I basically gave up on this site.

Then just as unexpectedly as it had dropped out of the rankings it showed up in the top 10 again.  However, it wasn’t at #4 this time.  Now it was sitting at the #1 spot in Google!  And the site is still #1 in Google, and it has been there for about 3 months or so now. This site also happens to be my biggest Adsense earner.

This is a classic example of the Google dance.  So, if you have a new site that is fluctuating in the results pages, you probably have nothing to worry about.  Google’s formula for calculating website rankings is a complicated one and many factors are constantly changing.  So, I view the “Google Dance” as Google trying to figure out where exactly a brand new site fits in.

Millions of new sites are added to Google’s index everyday, so its important to understand that the results are a living function.  New inputs are added (websites) and ranking factors are added as well to these new inputs (backlinks, etc. are constantly added).

However, the good news is that these major changes in rankings typically only affect newer sites.  Once your site is older than 5 or 6 months, you will most likely not experience these major swings in rankings.

Also realize that this does not happen to every new site, but if it does happen to yours, its most likely just the Google Dance.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts below!

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10 Responses to “Day 18: Understanding the Google Dance”

  1. Jeremy says:

    I have been there, #1 in 2 weeks, then can’t find it, then #15, gone again. now #3 in 1 month.
    I love to dance with Google Now 😀

  2. Tony Watson says:

    Hi Spencer,

    I’m really enjoying following along with you on your adsense adventure! It is a great learning experience for me!

    I have a few questions:

    1. Do you think you will ever sell any of your websites?
    2. Do you ever use a product name as a domain name?
    3. Have you ever used X Site Pro or Site Build It to build your websites?

  3. Thanks for the reassurance! I am taking all this slowly, as I need to see it working before I trust it and dive in.

  4. Tony:
    I’m glad you are learning from this experience, that’s what its all about!
    In answer to your questions.
    1. Yes, I have considered selling some of my sites in the future, but I haven’t sold any yet. I am always willing to entertain offers! :)

  5. Tony:
    I’m glad you are learning from this experience, that’s what its all about!
    In answer to your questions.
    1. Yes, I have considered selling some of my sites in the future, but I haven’t sold any yet. I am always willing to entertain offers! :)
    2. I have in the past, but I try to avoid doing so now.
    3. No

  6. Very informative this one!

    I just bought my first 3 exact match domains. Right now I just received articles for 2 of them. So I will be putting up my first 2 sites today!! I am excited and will hopefully not experience Google dances lol. Good to know what it is though just in case so I don’t freak out.

    Thanks Spencer.

    • Del…that’s awesome! Great to hear that you are taking some action!! Keep me posted on how things go…

  7. grrr… ezine article for my keywords is ranking in the top ten.
    Still no sign of my site…lol

  8. yeah, i have same experience with few of my sites.. anyway, even though the ranking is lost, as long as there is still visitors come in I am ok, as adsense still going on. after few months later, i found the site will go up again… some of them stay in first page for few months too..


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