Google: Expect “Extreme” Ranking Fluctuations When Publishing New Content
It’s also not unusual for these fluctuations to occur for up to one or two weeks after the content has been published. This topic came up during a Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout when a site owner asked the following question:
”… a bunch of our visitors had been asking for information about a topic, so last week we created a page centered around answering those questions.
On Friday, when we finished it, we launched it and submitted it though Search Console. Almost immediately, for a search for the long-tail term on that topic, we showed up number 12 in the rankings… and then Saturday comes and the page basically disappeared from the index to where we can’t even find it anymore.
Another page on our site, our index page, which isn’t even really at all related to that topic, comes up in the couple 100s in the rankings. We’re trying to figure out what kind of problem this could indicate, or where we should even look.”
Mueller says this type of situation is “completely normal.”
When Google first indexes a piece of content it has to estimate where the content should be ranked in search results. Sometimes Google overestimates, or underestimates, the ranking position of new content. Google will eventually determine the most appropriate ranking position for that content, which could take multiple weeks. During that time the ranking position may fluctuate before settling down.
When it comes to new content, Mueller says to expect rankings to fluctuate quite a bit. This could even involve disappearing from search rankings completely, and then showing up again.