I am currently experiencing weird ranking fluctuations with google for some of my pages.

The scenario is the following:

  • There are landingpages like www.example.com/topic/destination
  • There are product pages like www.example.com/topic/destination/0000-product-slug

The main keyword for the landingpages where they should rank for is topic destination in any case. However for some of them the position and indexed page in google are fluctuating daily. The average position for the landingpage is between 8 and 10 while the position for the product page ranking for topic destination is something in between 30 and 50. They never rank the same time, so when the product page ranks the Top10 ranking is gone.

I already read this can be caused by canibalization between the landingpage and the product page. However the keywords do not even occur (besides breadcrumbs) on the product pages and all content is unique.

The question is: is there any major ranking factor besides content for a page to rank for a specific keyword? Do (landing)pages that are optimized for a specific keyword inherit their ranking for internally linked product pages and should I remove those links then or set them on nofollow?

Additional info: there are no major technical issues for the affected pages according to seobility onpage analysis. WDF*IDF analysis for the keyword is also fine (no score for product page and good score for landingpage).

Example for a fluctuating ranking (Top10 is always landingpage, lower always product page):

Example for a fluctuating ranking

  • Many things could be happening. First, are you checking rankings yourself or with a SEO service? If you're checking by yourself, your results are so personalized you can't rely on them being the real rankings. Second, you should assume your competitors are making changes all the time, so changes in those external sites beyond your control will affect your rankings. Third, Google does change rankings frequently - they're always trying to fine-tune results so people find what they're looking for - so especially if you're not in the top 3 positions it's quite common for a page to shift often. – WebElaine Oct 8 '19 at 15:23
  • Let's not forget that the searches Google sees changes daily and hourly. It is perfectly normal that positions within the SERPs change daily. The question is this. How do you expect your users to find you? How do you perform for those searches? What can you do to better match your content to what most people are searching for? For get keywords. That is B.S. Seo. Think of the question an ordinary person would ask Google when they want what your content is about. Then address that question with a fully semantic view point and not with staccato keywords. – closetnoc Oct 8 '19 at 17:27
  • @WebElaine I am using seobility for ranking check without geographical context. I added an image visualizing the fluctuation in my question. – user2476294 Oct 8 '19 at 19:14
  • The wording of your question is pretty broad. Yes, absolutely there are other factors beyond on-page content that directly influence ranking. External links matter. Internal links matter. Load time matters. Whether the pages are responsive matters. The code quality and structured data matter. But even if you basically do everything right, other sites are going to also be changing all the time, and rankings will fluctuate - that's just a fact of SERPs. – WebElaine Oct 8 '19 at 19:38

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