SERP volatility: what you need to know for your SEO strategies

Understand what SERP volatility is and how it can affect your website and what to do.

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2023 in particular, has been a year full of ups and downs for SEO professionals. Literally. SERP volatility and results have been up and down on Google after so many Core Updates.

Therefore, many professionals end up having doubts about what to do and what strategy to adopt with so many changes.

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    What is SERP volatility?

    Volatility is instability on the search engine results page (SERP) and manifests itself when significant fluctuations in result positions occur over a period of time.

    When volatility is high, Google rankings become chaotic and subject to constant change. On the other hand, when volatility is low, earnings positions remain more stable.

    I even compare it to the climate in São Paulo, which can be very hot during the day, rain in the afternoon, and get hot again at night.

    See how unstable the SERP has been for Rock Content over the last 30 days on SEMRush sensor:

    SERP for Rock Content over the last 30 days on SEMRush sensor

    With the yellow dots averaging 9 and above, this means we had a lot of instability on our website. Below, we can see the overall score and the average I mentioned during the last 30 days.

    SERP volatility

    But is this instability good or bad?

    It depends. And it’s not SEO talk. Being unstable does not necessarily mean your site’s page positions are bad. Changes can also be for better results. Just as positions can go down, they can also go up.

    Furthermore, this volatility may also depend on other important factors: updates to the Google algorithm.

    We had updates in March, April, August, September, October and November! I believe this was Google’s record for so many updates to the main algorithm. The current one, from November, continues to run and should last 14 days to complete its update, as usual.

    Google algorithm update pages

    As we have seen updates practically every month, it is clear that this instability will be higher than normal. Another factor is the category of your website. Some categories may be more affected than others.

    Right here, despite the instability in the SERP, in October we saw a significant improvement in keywords improving their position, a much higher number than those that deteriorated in position.

    Since May, when the most significant changes began, we have had problems with this. But as I said in this post explaining what we did to reverse the drop in traffic and keywords, now we can see the fruits being harvested.

    position changes trend from rock content

    As in August core update, Google has emphasized creating high-quality content, resulting in significant impacts on websites’ SERP positions. Google often releases fundamental updates aimed at improving the experience for end users, ensuring they get the most valuable and reliable search results.

    Therefore, all SEO professionals must maintain their focus on quality, providing an exceptional experience to users and producing high-quality content. This way, we will be prepared to face any challenges that arise.

    How to measure your website’s volatility on the SERP?

    Some tools measure SERP volatility. Normally, here at Rock, we use SEMRush, but it is essential that you know more than one option to compare data. Because each tool has its way of measuring results, although they are very close.

    Remember, however, that each tool may have charges and you can also customize your results further – as is our case with SEMRush. See some available options:

    Remember to keep an eye on Google and the updates being performed at the time. It is essential that you, as an SEO and/or content professional, are constantly informed about changes in the SERP. I’ll keep hitting this button:use Google itself as a source to know what should be done when an algorithm is updated.

    An idea: if your business needs good SEO tools and needs to create more content, use WriterAccess for 14 days free. This will help you focus on important SEO analysis, while content can be created by freelancers who are experts in multiple niches simultaneously!

    Do you want to stay up to date with the best Marketing practices? Then sign up for The Beat, Rock Content’s interactive newsletter. There, you will find all the trends that matter in the Digital Marketing scenario. I’ll see you there!


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    Human Crafted Content

    Find top content freelancers on WriterAccess.

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