What is the Google Dance?

Google Dance refers to the Google algorithm trying to assess where your website should rank on the SERPs. You typically see more volatility after Google Algorithm Updates when Google’s Ranking fluctuates.

Google Dance

What is the Google Dance?

The Google Dance is the high level of volatility that a new website, web page, or other content on your site will experience while being determined by what position it should be placed to have an optimal search engine ranking.

Your newly published page that starts very low in the search engines (Position 100) will get bumped up periodically to a higher position so Google can see how users react.

If Google’s algorithm sees that people click on your page, spend time on it, and enjoy the content, it will reward your page with higher rankings.

The Google Patent behind the Google Dance

To explain it further, Google changes the rank of your page without any other ranking factors being affected to see what happens using the Rank Transition Function Patent.

Google Search Engine

Changing a rank of a document by applying a rank transition function

A system determines a first rank associated with a document and determines a second rank associated with the document, where the second rank is different from the first rank. The system also changes, during a transition period that occurs during a transition from the first rank to the second rank, a transition rank associated with the document based on a rank transition function that varies the transition rank over time without any change in ranking factors associated with the document.



Download the PDF

As you can see, this patent does not use random ranking factors to place you on results pages; it tests the pages within a controlled environment.

Why does Google Dance?

The Google Dance is just Google trying to decide if users like your content, website, or webpage.

When does the Google Dance happen?

Google Dance can be affected by these factors:

  • Age: new websites and pages tend to dance more.
  • Competitiveness: more competitive keywords/industries/locations dance more.
  • Link Building: New links (backlinks) and the strength of those links (powerful links) will affect the dance.
  • Changes: New pages, a new website, a drastic website re-design/rebuild.
  • New Algorithm: When Google performs an index update

How long does the Google Dance last?

The period of time depends on the same factors; more competitive terms seem to dance in Google SERPs more and dance (fluctuations) more drastically. This bouncing typically stops after Google determines the page value, which could last days or weeks.

Where can I track the Google Dance?

The best and most accurate way to track search engine results for free is by using Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to see where your website ranks. These two tools give you accurate data on Impressions, Clicks, CTR, and Average position of your Keywords and Pages. You could also sign up for a 7-day $7-dollar trial with Ahrefs or use an inexpensive keyword tracking tool such as Keyword.com to track keyword dancing.

What should I do when my site Dances?

Expect the Google Dance. When the Google Dance happens, do all the usual things you would do according to the best SEO strategies (Search Engine Optimization) and digital marketing practices, and don’t panic.

Published on: 2021-09-24
Updated on: 2023-10-09

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.