After all the shouting last year about the state of the SERP’s it seems, as predicted, Google have started this year with a bang, updates and fluctuations in the SERP’s are becoming much more frequent and maintaining top rankings for any sustained period is becoming more difficult.
I personally track around 25 competitive terms and the top 20 sites that rank for them, when I couple this with the data we hold at Branded3 it shows quite clearly how often Google are making changes to these terms.
If you look closely it is almost a weekly occurrence, apart from the odd website that controls position 1, those that rank in positions 2 – 10 are switching around weekly.
Now Google could be simply cleaning up a lot of the profiles they failed to take care of at the end of last year, however my feelings are that Google is finding an counting links a lot quicker than it ever has, that combined with caffeine is causing these massive fluctuations.
My only reservation is that we saw these kind of fluctuations last summer, Google was making a massive update and when it was finished the SERP’s became a little more stable. If this kind of ‘Google Craziness’ is here to stay it can only be good thing for SEO’s and clients as seeing the benefit of links should come around a lot quicker.
If you speak to SEO’s in general they will tell you that you need to wait 3 months to fully appreciate the effects of link building and solid on page recommendations. Recently I have been noticing changes coming about a lot quicker, Google reacting to fresh links in a matter of weeks, not months.
Now I am not going to be bold enough to say anyone paying for SEO should see results in 2 weeks, because I don’t believe that, however once link building has commenced, generally speaking you should be seeing results a lot quicker. Of course if you already rank in the 10 gaining the top position is still going to be a drawn out process, this is simply down to the amount of competition on the first page of Google, however generally speaking, every link you build should make it’s mark a lot faster than it would have done 12 months ago.