Matt Cutts on Page Ranking Over Time

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Undoubtedly, when you’re checking your rankings, you’ll find some interesting things happening with your content. I personally believe the activity of checking your rankings every day is a waste of time.

Why you may ask? It is simply not an income generating activity. Your time will be better spent creating more content, networking, and keeping your eyes focused on your goals. Having said that, your content may initially rank well or have a decent SERP placement, but then after a few weeks it plummets.

This has long been a question many SEOs have wanted the answer to. Today Matt Cutts released a new video that helps to explain why this may be happening to your content. Here’s the video:

Video notes:

Matt Cutts uses the analogy of an earthquake to explain why this may be happening. When an earthquake hits, the news is pretty broad, but as time goes on we learn more and more about the situation. Initially, we may not know how much damage the earthquake did, how much it will cost to fix the damages, or even how many people died. As time goes on, that information is revealed.

The same is with Google. When they award your content with a decent ranking initially, they’re making their best guess on where the content will rank. As they receive more information through time, they then award the content with the appropriate ranking. If your content plummets, then it’s a good signal that something needs to be done differently.


We now have a much better idea as to what’s happening with our content and initial rankings. Do you feel like Matt Cutts answered that one well?


Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan is a PPC expert, entrepreneur, blogger, and amiable guy. In his spare time, you can find him updating his own blog.
Adam Morgan
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  • Jaydeep Kapadia

    Hi Adam,

    you are right. SEO is far away from keyword ranking. Search Engine Optimization is now defined as pure marketing and now used in Broadway. As time has changed, SEO is more focused on promoting and generating leads rather than thinking about keyword ranking.

    • Sahil

      Google and Matt Cutts are certainly doing a great job here. Its actually a well thought out concept of algorithm for ranking the fresh content. Initially a guess followed by improving its ranking over time on search engine result pages for related and relevant keywords based on the upvotes (relevant and natural external links, social media shares) it gets.

  • Infant Raj

    Well said. This could work well for the searches related to News, Events etc.

    But the scenario’s different for the other searches related to a product / service. If new pages are ranking than the pages which have established their presence, i believe it would create a bad experience for the users.

    The above criteria will provide best results for news oriented websites and not applicable for other websites. I have personally felt that Google loves websites which have better user experience, domain authority rank better during their Panda / Penguin updates.

    Comments about my views are welcome!

  • michaelgocia

    Yah i do agree with you and i always believe that content is king rather than keyword rankings . If you present impressive and useful content it always drive great traffic to your website.

  • V. Sandberg

    Do you feel like Matt Cutts answered that one well? No not really, it depends on what is meant by initially ranking well or having a decent SERP placement, If you start out on the third or fourth page, you will not get many hits and will likely have a high bounce rate so you will plummet in the rankings. Google seems to obfuscate any facts to keep everyone confused, while what he said makes some sense on the surface there is still no information on what they are looking for.

  • Marion Leadbetter

    I can see what hes getting it that the better the content the better the user experience, I think its been that way with Google for a while, we are long past the days of any old spam ranking because it was stuffed with keywords and links but I think can be frustrating is the occasions where that isn’t the case and you find page 1 litter with too many poor quality websites, but if you make sure your website is something thats useful to the end user then you should be ok

  • Dallas

    For as long as the content remain relevant and it is updated with certain writing features, people will read the content. Good content can trump whatever algorithm was used in the search engine.