We created a new website for one of our clients. The package included based search engine optimization for 2 main keyword phrases the client was interested in. The site went live. A few weeks later we checked Google for targeted keywords. Wow! Not only we found it on the first page, but it was at the top of it. The first one! We were as happy as we could be… only to find a week later that the site was nowhere to be found… well, nowhere in the first 100 SERPs (search engine result pages).
We have done some research and found out that this search engine phenomenon is called “everflux.” Apparently, it’s been driving SEOs and webmasters crazy since 2002.
It’s Google's constant desire and efforts to keep their search as relevant as possible, especially these days, as Bing is challenging Google SERPs relevance.
In reality, there are two Googles: Google Senior and Google Junior. Senior calculates PR Rank and indexes pages on a monthly basis. Junior is looking for the new stuff only. When Junior comes across a page which content hasn’t been updated in a while, it just moves on. At the end of the indexing process Senior and Junior compare the results. In order to make sure some of the newer stuff is seen, the content Junior knows about is pushed to the top of the results. This is the reason why new site might show up towards the top soon after it’s up. While Senor continues his long update cycle, Junior adds new sites between the updates and guesses the PR. When Senior finally gets to it and does the PR calculation the new site will be given a real PR, which usually is less than the temporary PR.
Here’s what Google has to say about “everflux”:
“If your site is new, or hasn't shown up in Google for long, it may because our "fresh crawl" (which runs each day) was finding your site instead of our main crawl (which runs about once a month). Our "fresh crawl" is a newer feature, and we're still experimenting with which pages to crawl, how deeply to crawl, etc. We even reserve the right to (gasp!) not do a fresh crawl on some days because we're doing tests or reviewing new code. Someone wrote in recently and said "my site got in Google three weeks ago, and you've dropped me four times!" Nope, it's just that we don't always crawl the same pages in our fresh crawl, and we don't always crawl to the same depth. As we do a full crawl of the web, we find most of the sites from our fresh crawl and put them in our regular index. My advice on our fresh crawl is to view it as a nice "bonus" on top of Google's deep index. Users can always search our full index, but sometimes we can serve up even fresher pages as an extra nicety.”
If your site pages (or certain keywords) suddenly disappear from Google SERP, check if your PR Ranked changed as well. This typically happens when you add new page(s) to your site.
As you check your analytics reports, you can begin to see traffic jumps up for certain search terms on certain days - everflux in action. For example, if you create a page or a blog entry about a new album which is coming out, Junior crawls your site and makes note of it.
Because of its relevance in time (sort results by PR rank and date), your new page climbs to the top of the SERPs for a few days. Eventually, though, the story slips off your homepage and is replaced by another story about another album which is soon noted by Junior. Meanwhile, the long-standing sites regarding that particular album regain their top positions in the SERPs.
While it’s frustrating, there’s no real reason to panic if your pages (or some of your pages) are not in the SERPs. The ranking will come back around providing you use good SEO practices. In a mean time, continue to optimize your site for the search engines by perfecting your code, content, and by building quality back links to your website.
Have questions about SEO? Feel free to contact us at www.greatpointdesigns.com and request a quote.