It’s a long way from the top when you’ve secured that sweet, sweet number-one position on the search engine results pages. You must be doing something right to get there; it doesn’t just happen on its own. So why do SERPs sometimes change so quickly when you’re following every rule and tried-and-true trick you can think of? Moz has an answer for us today as they cover how to combat SERP volatility.
With each method of combatting SERP volatility, there’s often an associated root cause. Let’s look at some of the reasons you may experience volatility.
Reason 1: Mixed search intent, SERP variety
We all do our best to meet users where they are on their journey, so knowing the intent of a user allows us to craft a more relevant message. Sometimes, a query may have multiple different intentions, and the search engine doesn’t know which is most accurate.
Solution: When the search engine can’t identify the intent, specify the intent with your own keywords within the content. Perhaps your content needed this clarification to begin with, but it could also be that the intent behind a user’s search today is vastly different that what it would have been 6 months ago.
Reason 2: High keyword difficulty
Some keywords are just more competitive than others, so fluctuations in rankings are easy to understand.
Solution: Assess how recently your keyword competitors have refreshed their content. This may just be a reminder that it’s time for you to revisit the content in question.
Reason 3: High market competition
Content is king and everyone is after the throne. A new competitor may enter the ring, or an existing competitor may refine their existing strategy and begin churning out tons of new content.
Solution: While you can only publish so much content, any waves of new content affecting the SERPs can be analyzed and help you determine what people want to see. When you see your competitor’s content performing well, they’ve made your job easier by identifying topics for your next piece of content.
The key is not to panic during the inevitable temporary SERP results fluctuations but to identify longer-term trends to combat. Read on to identify more causes and solutions to dropping SERP rankings.