Kelly-Anne Crean

Why Do Search Rankings Fluctuate?

8th Aug 2023 SEO Blog 2 minutes to read

Koozai > Blog > Why Do Search Rankings Fluctuate?

Understanding the dynamics of search engine rankings

Website rankings often change over time, with some terms moving up and down in search engine results. Even after implementing extensive SEO strategies, there may be instances where certain keywords slip in rankings before eventually regaining their positions. These fluctuations can be minor, affecting just a few positions, or more substantial, resulting in significant shifts in rankings. In this blog, I will explore the various reasons behind ranking fluctuations and why they occur.

Algorithm updates and search engine reshuffling

One of the most common reasons for sudden changes in rankings is the reshuffling of search engine algorithms. Search engines like Google frequently make small updates to their algorithms to improve user experience and provide more relevant search results. As a result, some websites may experience sudden drops or gains in rankings. However, these fluctuations usually stabilise over time, and websites eventually settle into more consistent positions.

Competitive SEO efforts

The competitive landscape of SEO can also influence ranking fluctuations. If a competitor’s website does a lot of marketing and SEO, it could surpass your site in the rankings. As more businesses invest in professional SEO services, top positions for popular keywords become highly competitive.

To improve your website’s SEO, you must consistently optimise it. Additionally, you need to put in effort to earn authority and achieve higher search engine rankings.

Major SEO issues

A big decrease in rankings may happen if your website has done things that go against search engine rules. Search engines use advanced web crawlers with complex algorithms to detect black-hat SEO techniques like purchased links or hidden text.

Engaging in such practices can lead to instant demotion or even penalties, causing a sharp decline in rankings. Recovering from setbacks takes time and effort. You must find the problem, make changes, and hopefully the search engine will increase your rankings.

User behaviour and search trends

Shifts in user behaviour and search trends can also influence fluctuations in search engine rankings. As user preferences change, certain keywords or topics may gain or lose popularity, affecting the relevance and ranking of websites. Keeping up with search trends and knowing your audience’s behaviour helps you adjust your SEO tactics and stay competitive.

The importance of quality content and user experience

Search engines prioritise websites that provide valuable, relevant, and high-quality content to users. A positive user experience, including mobile-friendliness and fast page load times, also contributes to higher rankings. Websites that consistently offer valuable information and an exceptional user experience are more likely to maintain stable rankings.

Continuous SEO efforts for consistent rankings

It’s crucial to understand that SEO is an ongoing process. To maintain or improve your rankings, you must consistently invest in SEO efforts. Regularly update and optimise your website’s content, monitor performance metrics, and adjust your SEO strategies accordingly. By staying proactive and adaptable, you can navigate ranking fluctuations and position your website for long-term success.


Fluctuations in search engine rankings are a natural part of the dynamic digital landscape. Prioritising sustainable SEO practices is important, even though algorithm updates, competition, and user behaviour can affect them. Avoid engaging in questionable tactics that could result in penalties and prioritise delivering valuable content and an excellent user experience.

Regular and proactive SEO work can help your website maintain or improve its search engine rankings. This ensures that your website remains visible and successful in the long run.

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Kelly-Anne Crean

Head of Operations

Our multi-talented Head of Operations Kelly-Anne is also a Client Services and SEO expert, with 14 years’ of experience in digital marketing and search engine optimisation. During that time, Kelly-Anne has had the opportunity to work with a variety of exciting clients including De'Longhi (Braun), Srixon and the V&A. She’s perhaps the most organised person you’ll ever meet, and she’s also our Queen of self-defense, with almost 10 years of Krav Maga under her belt.

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