Why SEO rankings fluctuate based on device or location

28 July 2023 | | Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a pivotal role in determining a website’s visibility and success. SEO rankings can however fluctuate based on various factors. Two key determinants of these fluctuations are the user’s device and location. In this blog, we’ll delve into why SEO rankings fluctuate based on device or location and explore the factors that influence these changes.

Understanding Search Engine Algorithms

Search engine algorithms are designed to deliver the most relevant and high-quality search results to users. These algorithms take into account a multitude of factors to determine the ranking of web pages. Machine learning plays a vital role in modern search algorithms, making them more sophisticated and adaptive to user behavior.

Device-Based Fluctuations

The arrival of mobile devices has revolutionised the way people access information online. As a result, search engines have adapted to prioritise mobile-friendly websites. Mobile-first indexing has become a significant factor in determining rankings, as search engines aim to deliver the best experience to mobile users. Additionally, the implementation of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) further influences mobile rankings by enhancing page speed and user experience.

Location-Based Fluctuations

The geographical location of the user has a huge impact on search results. Search engines provide localised search results, considering the user’s location when delivering relevant content. The “Possum” update by Google brought about significant changes to local rankings, making proximity a crucial factor. Optimising Google My Business listings and maintaining NAP consistency (Name, Address, Phone number) are vital for local SEO success.

Technical Factors Affecting Rankings

Technical aspects play a crucial role in determining how websites are ranked on different devices and in various locations. Websites must be responsive and adapt seamlessly to various screen sizes to rank well across devices. Structured data and schema markup can enhance the visibility of search results by providing valuable context to search engines.

Content Relevance and Personalisation

Personalised search results have become increasingly common, as search engines aim to cater to individual user preferences and behaviours. Google’s RankBrain utilises machine learning to interpret user intent better. Creating content that is relevant to specific devices and locations is essential for achieving better rankings in diverse search contexts.

Link Building and Citations in Local SEO

For location-based rankings, link building and local citations are crucial. Local citations in reputable directories serve as trust signals for search engines, boosting the credibility of your practice. Acquiring high-quality local backlinks is essential to improve rankings in specific geographical areas.

Social Media and Local SEO

Social media can greatly impact local SEO efforts. Engaging with the local community and encouraging user-generated content can increase visibility and brand awareness.

Tracking and Analysing Fluctuations

Monitoring and analysing SEO ranking fluctuations is essential to understanding trends and making informed decisions. Various tools are available to track rankings based on device and location, helping practices adapt their SEO strategies accordingly.

Future Trends in SEO Ranking Fluctuations

The SEO landscape is continually evolving, and it’s crucial to be prepared for upcoming trends. Voice search and smart devices are expected to play a more significant role in influencing rankings. Additionally, the rise of augmented reality in search may introduce new challenges and opportunities for practices.

Would you like to improve your website’s overall performance? Contact one of the team today to find out how we can help your practice, 01202 677277.

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