Data are stored in multiple Google Data Centers around the world. When you do a manual search, you get randomly assigned to one data center and you are going to get the results from that data center.
One data center results can be slightly different from others because the syncing process often takes time and some data centers can have more updated data. So there’s a good chance that people are going to see different results based on which data center they are connected to and some other factors.
Factors that influence keyword ranking results:
Personalized results – Google tracks the type of results you tend to click and open. This is why we advise that you are logged out of your Google account or use private browsing or incognito mode when performing a manual search to check.
Location/IP address – Google tailors search results according to the location from which the search is being performed. For example, keywords like “dentist” often have a local intent so doing a search on this keyword would give you different results depending on where it is searched from.
The device used – You will see different results depending on what device you use. For example, the results of a keyword searched on a desktop will differ when that same keyword is searched on mobile.
Google data centers synchronization – as mentioned earlier, this can take time to balance out leading to a bouncing around of the keywords from rank to rank.
Time – This is one obvious reason, one day a certain keyword/domain may be ranking the following day it may not.
Other factors can also play a part.
Visibility & Exposure
It is generally better to focus upon overall visibility and exposure, across a number of keyword phrases, rather than being focused upon one two specific keywords.
As your business becomes found for more keywords, it will naturally help your business be found for the more difficult keywords as well.
This is a natural process, rather than trying to force things. Google and the main search engines are aware of those type of tactics. The more natural your promotion looks, the better the results will be over time.
The Bigger Picture
Looking at the bigger picture will pay better dividends on the longer term.
As your business becomes recognized over time, as a ‘local trusted business,’ this will help to improve the ranking of your website and your business will be returned for more searches.
It is quite normal for rankings to fluctuate and is nothing to worry about. Other business owners are also trying to obtain the top spots.
It is an ongoing battle to retain your positions but ensuring you business remains relevant is the key factor.
Do Not Be Like This Business
Businesses that obtain good visibility and then stop, will find that in due course their visibility will drop as well.
One business came to us after being in the number 1 spot for 10 years, for their main search phrases.
They stopped working on their promotion because they just assumed they were number 1 and would remain so.
After dropping to page 4 and below in the search listings, for their main keyword phrases, they recognized they needed help.
We are now gradually rebuilding their visibility and exposure.
Maintain Your Position
Maintaining your position is vital, if you wish to retain the ground that has been won.