Google’s Matt Cutts Explains Fluctuating Page Rank
Google’s fluctuating Page Rank can be confusing and although your new website or webpage might rank well initially in Page Rank, after a week or so, this value may begin to fall, declining over time to a specific mid-range level. Why is this so?
Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Web spam team, recently put together a video to explain this.
Google’s Cutts said Google’s algorithms can, initially, have a hard time figuring out the original source of new content. Time changes that, however. He continued, “Writing a search engine is kind of a complex task, You’re trying to make sure you return the best quality result but you also have to do that with limited information”.
Cutts likened the ranking process to the reporting of breaking news during an earthquake. He said, “one minute after an earthquake occurs there is limited information about what happened, ten minutes later there is slightly more information and an hour later a lot more information”.
Cutts said initial rankings are often Google’s ‘best guess’ on how relevant a page or piece of content is. As more information becomes available, Google incorporates its new knowledge into the mix and, typically, things then settle down into a steady state, Cutts added. “When there is a steady state, we’re better able to guess how relevant something is”.
Armed with that information, Google can then determine if the page or content would be better served by QDF (queries that deserve freshness) or evergreen.
QDF is a component of the Google algorithm for queries that need frequent updating, such as breaking news stories. If Google determines the best results for a particular search will change daily, or even hourly, it will designate the search QDF. Such designations means new and relevant content will make its way to the top of the search results. It also means, however, that content will quickly be bumped as newer relevant content is posted.
Evergreen, on the other hand, is a term Google applies to pages or sites that are frequently updated and are likely to attract both first-time and repeat visitors.
“A lot of people think there should be one set of rankings, it should be completely uniform, and everybody in the world should see the exact same thing” Cutts said. “The fact is, we have different results for people in different countries, even in different cities. And the results can change over time. Not just because links change or the content on the page changes, but because we are better able to assess which pages are more relevant”.