SERP Volatility: What Is It And How To Deal With It?

SERP

A well-ranked site can sometimes disappear from the first pages for no apparent reason. This may be due to SERP volatility. An unpredictable and harmful phenomenon for sites, this volatility even affects sites with the best SEO strategies. Discover in this article the essential things you need to know to deal with it.

What Is SERP Volatility?

SERP volatility represents a set of frequent fluctuations in search engine results ranking. Due to their unpredictability, a well-ranked site can experience a drop in rankings overnight. In the short and long term, they have negative consequences for the organic traffic of your site. It is therefore recommended to know them better to be prepared to confront them.

What Causes SERP Volatility?

SERP volatility can occur following various changes emanating either from Google or from the site itself. Usually, this includes updates to search engine algorithms. This may, for example, involve a change in the importance given to certain types of content or a change in SEO criteria. SERPs can also become unstable due to new competitors entering the market. Their content actually leads to an intensification of competition for keywords.

Changes In User Behavior And Search Queries

Changes in user behavior sometimes lead to SERP volatility. Indeed, research trends are constantly evolving. Therefore, the emergence of a new trend can generate a sudden increase in demand for specific topics or products. Which will obviously impact the functioning of the SERPs Additionally, technological advances such as voice assistants have influenced the way users conduct their online searches. 

Search queries become more conversational. This can lead to some keywords falling in value and benefiting others. Sites that know how to use them in their content will have a greater chance of being favored. Your activity, therefore, depends above all on the habits of the Internet user. You need to monitor them in order to stay on trend. This will allow you to adapt to varying variations in search query behavior.

Google Algorithm Updates

Google algorithm updates represent one of the main reasons behind fluctuations in SERPs. Google regularly makes updates to improve the relevance of search results. If major ones are always announced, this is different for small-scale updates. This is a problem since these are more frequent and can cause instabilities in the SERPs. For example, an algorithm update can be deployed to counter abusive SEO practices. Sites that do not comply with Google guidelines see their positioning deteriorate. 

However, the goal is to improve the user experience, and the relevance of the content depends on the evolution of their expectations. Consequently, following this type of update, new sites with content deemed more relevant can replace sites that have been well-ranked since the last update. It is therefore recommended to closely monitor the evolution of the Google algorithm to prevent even the most minimal updates. For example, you can follow SEO experts who usually post news about this type of update.

The Evolution Of Competitors

The better your competitors get, the more likely they are to get your spot or even surpass it in the SERPs. Between updates and user habits, the main places are for sites that follow Google standards. This could be keywords, backlinks, or even the content itself.  To do this, you need to monitor the competition and learn from them as much as possible. This will allow you to either maintain your position or be able to recover after a period of volatility quickly.

New SERP Features

Updates involve more than just the algorithm. Google has constantly enriched its search results with new features. Now in the SERP, you have:

  1. video clips, job offers;
  2. extracts of information;
  3. and dedicated product pages.

Also, below the first results, a question-and-answer section allows the Internet user to find the answers that interest them directly. This increased focus of user attention on built-in features can reduce the visibility of traditional results, especially since these features take up the space of specific sites and promote the visibility of others.

A Drop In Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate establishes your reputation as a reference site in your field. Decreasing the click-through rate for a given query assumes that the content is not relevant to users. If your click-through rate decreases across multiple queries, you risk a drop in rankings the next time the SERPs fluctuate. Several factors can influence the click-through rate. This could be changes in the presentation of search results or varying user preferences. Hence the interest in renewing yourself, especially when you obtain a certain notoriety in the ranking.

Technical Changes To Your Website

Technical changes to your website usually impact your rankings. In the process, we sometimes modify the robots.txt file and even URL structures. Mishandling or inappropriate redirection hampers the search engine crawling process and user experience. Therefore, it is safer to hire a developer to make the most critical updates. Furthermore, primary site redesigns or migrations can cause temporary volatility. You will have to wait until search engines have fully crawled and re-indexed your site. 

What Are The Consequences Of These Fluctuations On Your SEO?

Changes in the SERP can affect all your site traffic in the long run. First of all, they lead to a drop in the ranking of your keywords and then of your content. They offer the opportunity for more optimized sites to occupy the best places. As a result, you risk being even less visible in the SERPs. Less visibility here means fewer clicks. Which directly translates into fewer conversion and revenue generation opportunities. The Internet user will, in fact, have an easier time following the first site that meets his expectations. The algorithm will, therefore, have all the more reason to maintain its visibility between now and the subsequent fluctuations.

How To Deal With SERP Volatility?

You have several options for navigating SERP volatility. Although uncontrollable, these sudden changes can be monitored using handy SEO tools. You will then need to implement the best strategy depending on the cause of your drop in ranking.

Choosing The Right Tool To Monitor SERP Volatility

Several powerful tools allow you to measure SERP volatility. Among the most popular are:

  1. SEMrush Sensor: Highly popular, it provides an overview of ranking fluctuations for a set of keywords. This helps detect sudden changes and identify the most impacted pages. 
  2. MOZCast: Focuses on monitoring Google algorithm changes and their impact on SERPs. It thus provides practical information to anticipate trends and adapt your SEO strategy.
  3. Wincher: Offers accurate ranking tracking for a wide range of keywords. His reports are very detailed. It also has alerts to notify you in the event of significant changes.
  4. SERP Seismometer: The SimilarWeb tool specializes in analyzing SERP volatility for e-commerce sites. It offers insights into the performance of your products and those of your competitors.

You can combine two or three of these tools into your strategy to prevent SERP volatility. This will allow you to confirm the changes to be made to avoid loss of visibility. Note that each tool uses its methodology to measure SERP volatility, which may cause variations in results. Therefore, compare data from multiple tools and cross-reference information to get a complete picture of the situation.

Use Google As A Source Of Information

In addition to these tools, it is essential to keep an eye on updates. To do this, you can consult official sources such as Google Search Central Blog. This Google site publishes very detailed informative articles about algorithm updates. It also offers practical information on new SEO methods. 

For more information or more personalized research, go to sites specializing in SEO. You can also join SEO communities on social networks such as Reddit. This will give you the opportunity to discover more specific methods for dealing with SERP volatility. Its causes being multiple, the strategy to move up the rankings may be more particular.

Prioritize User Experience

Prioritize user experience for your website. Make sure your content meets the needs and expectations of your users. To this end, it must provide added value and encourage interaction. Make your content easier to read and understand by using a clear structure, relevant headings, and proper formatting. Improve page loading speed. Speed ​​is indeed essential for UX. 

Optimize your website’s images, code, and cache to ensure fast loading. Take care of the visual appearance and ergonomics. The more attractive and intuitive the website is, the more it encourages users to stay. They will also have an easier time exploring your content further.

Maintain A Consistent Rhythm Of Backlinks

Google cares less about the number of backlinks and more about their quality. It will eliminate or even penalize low-quality or manipulative links. Regularly acquiring high-quality backlinks can help protect your website against SERP volatility. A backlink from a high authority site can signal to Google that your content is “trustworthy.” This can lead to increased rankings and visibility for your content compared to content of the same quality. However, just one good backlink will not be enough for long. Opt for a regular acquisition rhythm. Favor diversified natural backlinks from reputable sources. 

Perform Regular Site Audits To Prevent SERP Volatility

Regular site audits help maintain stable rankings and serve as a defense against SERP volatility. These audits help identify changes in your rankings through insights that can guide strategic adjustments. They also check your website:

  1. is optimized for exploration;
  2. respects the technical guidelines of search engines;
  3. ensures optimal performance for the user.

Additionally, audits may reveal technical issues that could negatively impact the stability of your ranking. They are essential for a consistent and proactive SEO strategy.

Updating Content For SEO

Finally, you will only keep your rankings for a while due to the ever-changing nature of SERPs. Adapt your website content to match dynamic search engine algorithms. This remains the best way to maintain visibility. Optimize your content with relevant keywords and metadata to increase visibility. Focus on informative, qualitative, and, above all, engaging content. Although this does not protect you from volatility, you can still move up the rankings and stay there for a while.

SERP Volatility: What To Remember?

SERP volatility is an unpredictable and generally unavoidable phenomenon. No site is safe, even the best. However, there are ways to prevent it and even overcome it. Stay consistent and consistent in managing your site, remembering to follow the latest trends. This will help you stay caught up in the SEO race. Do you know of any other practical tools for monitoring volatility?

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