Many people who practice SEO think that the most turbulent times in the rankings are when existing algorithms are updated monthly and more gravely, when completely new algorithms are released, such as Panda, Penguin and Venice.
However, when you consider that in 2010 Google admitted to applying over 500 changes to their algorithm, you can see that these fluctuations can be expected far more regularly.
Now SEO software market leader SEOMoz has released a new service called MozCast, which tracks the daily “weather” of the rankings. In other words, they track how violent the algorithm shifts have been for the day.
What it Does
The service tracks the rankings fluctuations of 1000 specific keywords every 24 hours. The results of these are returned as weather report of sorts. There is a temperature gauge and a weather symbol (sunny, overcast, stormy, rain, etc.)
The higher the temperature and the more threatening the symbol (the thunderstorm cloud being the worst) the bigger a fluctuation you can expect for that day. The average temperature for a day is 70° F so anything higher than that can result in quite drastic fluctuations.
You can view a 5 day report of the movements or even a 30 day report which is plotted on a bar graph, giving you an idea of the trend of rankings movements.
How it Does it
Using the pre-set 1000 keywords, they take the top 10 ranked websites for those keywords then track their fluctuations over a month. A metric is assigned based on the degree of their movement, with a larger value being associated with websites who dropped from the top 10 completely.
They use the results by applying a statistical measure to create a theoretical range from 0 – 10 called the Delta10. The weather prediction is derived from this figure.
The Value to Website Owners
If you wake up, check your website’s ranking and realise it’s suddenly dropped all the way to the 2nd page, you can choose the appropriate response based on the SEO “weather” for that day.
If your ranking shift comes on a day of volatility, responding to aggressively by changing all your optimisation measures may do more harm than good. Your ranking may soon recover with the next update.
If the shift occurs on a calm day, then you may need to revaluate your SEO strategy, and subsequently consult blogs and forums on the Google optimisation matters. These changes are more likely to permanently affect your ranking.