Search Engine Ranking Variations: Why do they Occur?

Why Rankings Vary from one Search Engine to the other.

Those who have been following my feeble attempts to have my site ranked high on Search Engines will have read an article in which I celebrated breaking into Google’s top 100. I suppose that a few years from now, when my site has moved from the seemingly intractable bleakness of the first few months of blogging, I will look back upon that article with a little bit of embarrassment. Oh well! So, why are there Search Engine Ranking Variations, and what can you learn from them?

What I use for Rank Tracking

Track Search Engine Rankings with Pro Rank Tracker
Track Search Engine Rankings with Pro Rank Tracker

I use the free version of Pro Rank Tracker for rank tracking on this blog. You can sign up by clicking on the big banner above. I have also been trying out a few of the rank checkers that are in the table below;

[jtrt_tables id=’2780′]

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Search Engine Ranking Variations

Example of Differences in Search Engine Rankings

Today I noticed in my Pro Rank Tracker Dashboard, that I had jumped 14 places in the positive direction in Google for one of my keywords. You can see this yourself in the above screenshot. As you can see, I am ranked at number 44 on Google for that particular keyword. That, as already mentioned, is a jump of 14 places from number 58 yesterday.

Search Engine Ranking Variations: Bing

  • Meanwhile, my rank on Bing stands at number 26 for the keyword in question. That is a drop of 1 place from the previous day.
  • Overall, I have lost about 7 places during the current week in terms of how well my page is ranking on Bing.

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  • Yahoo, on the other hand, ranks my page at number 37 for the same keyword. If you are wondering where the keyword is in the above screenshot, I have carefully, for one reason or the other, obfuscated it.
  • In any case, I have dropped 22 cases in Yahoo for that keyword, during the current week.

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Search Engine Ranking Variations: Why do they occur?

As you can see in the above example, there are wide differences in the ways in which Search Engines rank web pages. From my point of view as a blogger, the one Search Engine that matters the most is, of course, Google. So, although I have dropped several rungs in other search engine rankings, I am still happy that I continue on a positive trend in Google.

Periodic Jumps in Google Ranking

I am not too sure why I have been witnessing these periodic jumps in my Google rank. Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that my site is slowly edging away from the curse of the first three months. If you do not  know what I am talking about; Websites generally perform dismally during the first few months of their lives. Mine is only 2 months old at the moment, so, we shall wait and see. In any case, here are some of the reasons why search engine ranking differences occur;

  1. Different Bots: Search Engines uses what are called bots or crawlers to index content on the World Wide Web. These, of course, differ from one search engine to the other. Google has Googlebot while Yahoo’s bot is called Slurp. Not that the differences in name matters when it comes to search engine rankings. The main difference lies in how they view or “see” web content. That is entirely dependent on how they have been programmed.
  2. Your Personal Preferences: Search Engines, like so many other websites, are always looking to personalize people’s web experiences. That is one of the reasons why you may find yourself receiving ads that are related to your past searches. Search Engine rankings thus tend to differ depending on how different search engines personalize your browsing experience, among other factors

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So, the answer to the question, “why do search engine rankings vary?” is, “It’s all in their algorithms.” Different Search Engines place different degrees of weight on different website ranking factors. That is the major reason why I have been witnessing the differences in Search Engine ranks that I have given in the above example. Of course, there are a number of things that can be done to improve Search Engine rankings and I will be implementing them over the coming few weeks.

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