The update of the Google index is often referred to as the Google dance. For several days when Google is updating their index to include new pages and update their algorithms, search results almost seem to take on a life of their own. High positioned sites have been known to drop into near obscurity while the lesser-judged sites suddenly find themselves careering towards dizzy heights in the rankings. While this phenomenon is usually relatively short lived, lasting only two or three days, many webmasters take it to be a sign of things to come during the next major update.
Spurious Search Engine Results
Google uses a number of patented algorithms to determine the exact ranking of every indexed website. They also attempt to index as many websites and pages as they can possibly find. In order to do this they utilize tens of thousands of different hosts and over a dozen data centers. It is impossible for Google to update each and every one of these at the same time and it is also impossible for them to alternate between using old data and the new updated data. This leads to some potentially skewed results in their listings. However, these results are not usually indicative of future rankings.
Relying Too Heavily On Toolbar PR
The problem for many webmasters is an over reliance on the toolbar page rank. This is a problem for several reasons. Page rank isn’t the be all and end all of search engine rankings. It is used to determine the weight of an inbound link, meaning that a link from a page with a PR5 is much better than a link from a page with PR2. However, having a PR6 won’t necessarily mean that your site will list above all the PR4 sites on the web.
Relevancy Of Website Content
The logic is fairly simple. The PR of your site is a numerical value determined by numerous factors including the number of inbound links. In no way can this numerical ranking indicate the relevance of your website content when looking at a particular search term. Having a PR6 website does not necessarily mean that your site bears more relevance to a particular term than another website with a PR2. So, as well as the PR of your website, Google must also consider the topic and the content of your site and how relevant this is to the relevant search term.
Toolbar PR Compared To Live PR
Another problem is that the toolbar PR is only updated every three months or so, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. While you’re seeing that your site only has a PR2 it could be that it actually has a PR closer to 5. Your site will receive the credit from this “live” PR in preference to that of the toolbar PR so don’t panic.
A Final Word On The Google Dance
During the time the Google dance is being completed, the servers located around different data centers are upgrading and updating one at a time. This is why some sites will show spurious results and why some webmasters benefit for a day or two while others lose out. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent this Google phenomenon and there is nothing you can do to hurry the process up. All that is left is to sit back and watch in amazement as the Google index dances.
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