Why’d Your Page Drop Ranking Over Time? Matt Cutts Explains
You posted a new page of content that you’re particularly proud of. You enter the page’s target keyword into Google a few days later, and you’re pleased to see that it’s ranked #1! However, when you check back a few days later, your post is now ranking #4.
You remember your post a month later, enter the same keyword query, and suddenly it’s not even ranked on the first page! Why did your page drop ranking? As reported by Search Engine Land, Google web spam chief Matt Cutts is back to explain why new pages tend to rank highly at first, and settle lower in the SERPs over time.
A New Page? What’s This?!
That sums up Google’s reaction when you post a new page, blog post, news article, review or other piece of content to your site, and it helps to explain why new pages tend to rank high initially. In his video, Cutts explains that when a page is brand new, Google has difficulty detecting whether it represents something breaking and original, or whether another page somewhere on the internet is actually the true source of the story.
However, since the page you just posted is new, Google tends to assign it a higher ranking simply because it’s fresh to the web. Once Google’s crawlers have a few hours, days, weeks and months to assess other existing pages and new pages similar to yours, your page’s ranking settles to its “true” position.
Breaking News, Evergreen Content
Cutts goes on to say that this also depends on the type of query used by the searcher. For some queries, Google knows immediately that the user is looking for stable, “evergreen” content that doesn’t rapidly become outdated. Think “how to jump start a car” or “wood carving tips.” For other queries – let’s say, “North Korea threats” – Google immediately understands that the user is looking for a news item. For this reason, the freshness of a page factors much more into some queries than others when it comes to ranking the results.
You can watch Cutts’ video below for a little more detail: