My Recent Experience: Dancing with Google

Many of you have probably heard of the term “Google Dance”.  This is simply the all too often occurrence of a newer website to dramatically bounce up and down the Google ranks.

The typical Google dance occurs something like this (from my experience – note I wrote a previous post on this subject right here):  First, your website gets indexed and you make your first appearance in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) a couple of days later.

Depending on the competitiveness of your term you will often receive a fairly good ranking after only a couple of weeks.  In my experience, this good placement will last anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks.

Then the dance begins.

Your site might drop 50 to 100 spots or drop completely from the results pages.  However, don’t panic!  This happens to LOTS of new websites, and is simply a result of Google re-calculating where you website should really be listed.

If you continue to build backlinks your site will make more dramatic bounces up and down over the next few weeks.  Typically after 3 months or so, your website listing should become more stable.  And if you continue to work on building content and backlinks to your site, you should continue to make incremental improvements in your positioning.

I have experienced this many times.  However, recently over the past few months, I have had one particular site that has been dancing like CRAZY!

This particular site was created in February this year.  As you can see from the screenshot from my Google Analytics below, the site “danced” at the end of March (this was expected).  This is the first dramatic drop in traffic.

However, my site took much longer to come back than usual; almost 3 months!  To be honest, I had basically given up on this site.  Then on June 14th, my site suddenly was loved by Google again…I saw a huge spike in traffic.  It bounced around a bit, but essentially stayed in Google’s rankings for 3 weeks.

Then my site unexpectedly dropped off the face of the map again in mid July.  (Most of the traffic that did remain was from other search engines and image searches on Google).  For some reason, I had great placement for the images on my site, but not the text.  (Google must utilize a slightly different formula for ranking images and text).

Then just 2 days ago, my site bounced back once again.  Yesterday was my highest traffic day on this particular site as you can see from the stats above.

So, is the Google dance frustrating?  Absolutely!  I don’t completely understand it, but I have come to realize that it happens alot and not to panic.  Unfortunately, this site was an extreme case and I had stopped adding content to it because of its poor rankings.  If I had continued adding content over the past couple of months, I’m sure that my traffic numbers would be even higher than they are today.

So, how did I get my site back up in the SERPs?

Even though I had basically given up on this site; I kept building a few backlinks because I had invested some time and money in this site already.  I mostly did back linking with article marketing.  I distributed a few articles to about a dozen article directories or so.  I also did some basic social bookmarking.  I also added a couple of backlinks from some of my own sites (I only do this very sparingly).

I can only assume that these steps finally helped Google to fall back in love with my site and send some traffic my way.

In addition, I have also noticed several natural back links built to my site which have certainly helped as well.  I have a significant amount of content on this site, so there are plenty of linking opportunities from other sites.

I just wanted to share this quick recent experience with one of my sites for a couple of reasons.

First, to let you know that the Google Dance does occur (even though this particular case is more extreme than usual), and not too panic when it happens to you.

Second, I wanted to share what you can do about it.  You should continue to build links to your site and creating additional unique content would also help your site as well.

Overall, there isn’t much you can do to prevent large up and down jumps with a new website.  But once your site begins to establish some age and authority you will begin to see some more solid rankings.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts below and I will be more than happy to respond!

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5 Responses to “My Recent Experience: Dancing with Google”

  1. I know what you mean, I had a 2 month dance, then a 5 week break followed by 3 months of really irratic behaviour. I have not managed to work out what had happened in those 3 months. But as of Sunday all seems very “Stable” Will report back if anything changes.

  2. Hay Spencer what’s going on with the soft where can u send me a beta copy I would love to test it

    • Hey Eric, I am just finishing up some videos on how to use the software. Once those are done, I am going to make a beta version available. I will the info on this blog when its ready…glad you’re interested!