When something keeps happening over and over again it ceases being a coincidence and starts becoming a fact.
Over the last few months I’ve been working on several projects in relatively competitive niches. I’ve been doing some aggressive link building campaigns to get those sites ranking on the first page of Google. Part of the strategy involved in doing this is researching competitor backlinks.
For each niche I’ve meticulously studied the backlinks for all of the sites on the first two pages, so I know the order of results for every given keyphrase. The page 1 results, in particular, have pretty much remained static in the all of the time I’ve been targeting being a part of it. We’re talking months.
Then something odd keeps happening…
Every time I get the sites ranking on page 1, the entire order of results appears to change. It’s not sites just being pushed down by my sites, but the whole order of results changes.
Sites that have been ranking say at number 3 for months all of a sudden get demoted to positions much further down the page, such as 7 or 8 or even on to page 2.
This phenomenon keeps happening…every time we hit the front page for competitive keyphrases.
Caching in action
I can only deduce that the reason for this is that Google doesn’t recalculate the order of results every time you search for a given query. If it’s already served those results before, which is highly likely, then why recalculate them again? Simply display the results previously returned.
I really do believe that Google caches search results pages, which makes sense anyway, as it speeds up the process, and that the only time they change is when a website appears to merit entering the exclusive page 1 club.
Have you seen this happening yourself? It would be interesting to know that it’s not just me going mad and that this happening over 10 times this year isn’t just a coincidence.