More threads by Macanoodough

Macanoodough

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I don't know if this is the right place to ask this but:
I notice on GA that my site's performance goes up as a whole whenever my Homepage itself goes down, and vice versa. They are never in sync, yet tied to the same metrics.

FYI: I am a small business owner who manages my own site. I had a website management that was affordable but they disappeared. I tried 4 others but wasted too much money because they all turned out to be clowns. Now I'm on my own for a while and I'm trying to learn what rabbit holes need going down and I don't know if this is one of them.

You'll see some breaks on the rankings for the main key phrase, and I think that was because I was pinging google too often. I have a plugin that shows on my dash and sometimes says Force Search Engine Notification. When it says it hasn't been updated I started clicking to force notification thinking I had to. I have since learned that google penalizes you heavily for pinging too often unless you've made changes to the site. So now I am hoping these forums provide some insight before I just do stuff. I will say in my defense, I was ranking #5 back when I had a decent resource for management, but dropped to 20+ when they disappeared. None of the companies I tried got me near the top ten. I did that myself watching videos. My goal is to stay in the top ten, but there has to be something I need to fix that does not show up anywhere else. My Core Web Vitals scores are 99 96 100 100. When the site's performance was ranking 5th, it was flatlined there. I'd at least like to flatline in the top ten if I can't get back to 5. Thank you in advance for any insight.

GA Performance Graph.jpg


Core Web Vitals.png
 
Those graphs look very normal. Average position is never going to be a straight line so I honestly wouldn't even look at it. If you wanted a better idea of ranking fluctuations, you could use a grid tool like local falcon or Places Scout. Your Core Web Vitals scores look fantastic, and I would not guess that is impacting anything. While page speed is a ranking factor, it's a very tiny factor. I have never even been able to measure any impact to ranking/traffic from sites that we've improved site speed for.
 
My site used to be a straight line when it ranked 5. Not perfect of course, it would go back and forth from 4 to 6. If it was that way before there's no reason it can't be again. But my question is not why the peaks and valleys are more drastic, that was just something I mentioned to provide background. As you can see, the main page is much more stable than the others, going up and down in a tighter range. If I run a 90 day search or zoom out, it looks pretty straight to me so I call that straight.

But my question is:
Why does the ranking for the site as a whole go up when the main page itself goes down, and vice versa?

In other words, when the home page ranks better for it's key phrase the other 2 pages rank lower even though they are using different key words or phrases. They are all different keywords so they should have nothing to do with each other. They are only there because they have to be, but the main page brings in all the traffic and it's rank is the only one that matters. That said, when one goes up and the other goes down, religiously, that suggests something is wrong somewhere. I posted the sites scores only to show that whatever it is it's not to be found there.
 
If you have a Google business profile linked to this website it will rank better when your business is open and worse when your business is closed. That is one possible explanation.
 
@Macanoodough the image you posted is for Search Console, not GA. GA can give you insight into how many people visited your site, how long they stayed, how many pages they looked at, etc. But there are no rankings.

Search Console does provide some ranking info, but it is not necessarily super helpful. It does a much better job showing you what types of queries people are using, and how well you're ranking for those queries. But even then, the ranking info is very basic in nature. The gold is in finding queries that you weren't aware of and want to improve.

As Joy mentioned, a tool like Local Falcon will give you a much better idea of how you're ranking in a given location for a given kw.

Overall, I don't think the inverse ranking relationship between the home page and other pages is likely to be any sort of issue. If there is a problem with your website though, you should learn how to do an audit.

There's lots of info out there if you really want to learn about SEO. BrightLocal, for example, has lots of tutorials and mini courses to get you started.
 
Typically when I look at GSC to see how our sites are ranking (I run reports weekly for the company I work for), I usually compare to the week(s) prior to see how the page(s) performed previously. I also look at the queries for the page(s) and compare them, as well as filter to specific pages and do comparisons on queries/positions. Looking at each page can give you an idea, and often related phrases will change similarly. So if the other pages are ranking for similar, but not the same, keywords, it could be that Google gave the home page better or worse rank accordingly, and in relation to similarity.

Also sometimes Google completely de-ranks a keyword/phrase for a page where it ranked before which can cause significant fluctuations. But sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason, it's just Google doing Google things, which often makes no sense.

Keep learning and asking. And read Googles content guidelines. They are very helpful to understand some of what they deem as important.
 

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