What is the Google Dance and is your website dancing on Google?

Written by Gary Lim
August 16, 2018

Is your website Google dancing?

Have you seen your site jumping in and out of Google rankings?

Has your site appeared on the first page in one search and then jumping completely out of even the 10th page in the next search?

Your content marketing ideas will be less effective if your website doesn't rank.

This is a phenomenon known as the Google dance, and it happens more often than you think.


Google Dance, is simply a fluctuation of search rankings due to the inability of Google to yet determine where your site should rank.

In the past, Google dance used to happen due to the discrepancies in their Datacenter, you can be getting results from Datacenter 1 who has the updated 1st-page result in one search, but getting outdated results from Datacenter 2 in your next search.

These discrepancies appear less now due to the huge improvement in speed and the structure at which the database updates itself.

In the present day, the Google dance happens simply because Google does not know where to rank your site and is trying to get multiple data points to “Feel” the user sentiments.


This happens more often than you think, in fact it’s happening to your site right now.


Let us show you what a Google dance looks like in data.

Here is a Google Sheets chart that is automatically plotted using our Free Keyword Rank tracking Tool which we have modified to do a search query for all these keywords every minute.

The Keyword rank tracking tool does what it says, it gets the position of your website by crawling through every single page.

This is a really messy graph due to the number of data points but let me bring your attention to just one keyword to illustrate this pattern.

You can see that the Green keyword "How much does Facebook advertising cost" regularly jumps between the position 6, position 30 and position 100 ( Unranked ).

So we have ranked on the 1st page today, that’s awesome.

But are we ranking for every search in the First page today?

Now that's a really big difference in traffic.

To put it into perspective, we are ranking for less than 15% of the searches in one day. That's 6 times less traffic.

On the other hand, take a look at the Turquoise keyword “Foxfire Marketing”.

Now that we have cemented our position as the only Foxfire marketing solution you should know about, you will see little to no jumps in the results of searches.

That's not all, now this is where it gets interesting.

This is an Excel Chart of what happens 2 days later. It's really messy but please bear with me, I will narrate exactly what you should be looking at below.

If you can see, the Green keyword “How much Facebook advertising costs” starts to get more chances at hitting the first page, the frequency increases and the position drops to “5”.

Also, you can see the Red keyword “How much does SEO really cost” breaking out of the position 50 to position 6, that’s good news that our SEO efforts are working.

Now when you see the increase in frequency for the first page, it is god-sent that you should start to drive more SEO efforts into cementing that position while Google is still deciding whether to rank you or not.

We have tested this on many sites older than ours, the Google dance happens more often than you think.

Time to take home a few key points:

1. Google dance happens because it’s still not sure

Google’s algorithm is a mathematical equation, and these equations give a precise scoring to each website.

You have done the perfect SEO and put your best efforts but the Google Dance is still happening after months, this is clearly a sign that some of your SEO efforts are not working as intended.

Here are some factors that could have caused this:

1.) Your backlinks have been de-indexed

2.) Your backlink profiles have been tarnished

3.) You are changing your site structure too often

4.) There are errors on your site

2. Google dance happens more often for competitive keywords

When there are new data points and websites coming up with content similar to your keyword. Google gives a fair fight and tries to understand which position these new competitors should rank.

Thousands of posts are made every single day so the fluctuations by a 100 positions is not an anomaly when you haven’t cement your position in the rankings.

3. Google dance happens for every new page

When we first started ranking for even a secluded term like “Foxfire Marketing”, it did a Google dance as well.

It is simply a learning phase that Google takes to understand how your site relates to the search intent of the user.

It also understands why your site is better than the other sites delivering the same results.


Of course, these are our own findings but we have attached a supporting video by the Google Webmasters themselves to illustrate this phenomenon.



So is your site Google Dancing?

Check it out with our Free Keyword Ranking Tool.


PS. Foxfire’s current rankings are not to be used as a portfolio for our SEO work. It’s in-fact an upward trend from when we start months back. Read David and the Goliaths SEO case study to get the full picture 🙂

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