Car insurance SERPS – Google keeping us on our toes!

Jun. 26, 2009 | by Doug Platts

Over the past week I have seen the SERPS in the UK fluctuate massively, with sites coming into the top 10 for a couple of hours or even a day and then returning to outside the top 30. This has been happening for a number of terms such as ‘flights’, ‘hotels’ and ‘travel insurance’. The SERP I have most closely been monitoring is the ‘car insurance’ SERP with sites jumping in to the bottom 3 listing of the first page for a day and then back out. Some examples of this are:



Coming in from outside the top 30 and ranking in position 9 on Wednesday. Bell and Elephant also coming in from outside the top 30 and ranking in position 9 and 10 on Thursday:


Now these results are not campaign changing. Even getting to bottom few listings of the first page wont drive that much traffic – though I guess more traffic than any previous position may have been getting. However, today we are seeing a new entry at position 1 for the first time in a very long time with Direct Line:


I wonder how much traffic/money MoneySupermarket and are losing for every hour that they are not in their regular positions of 1 and 2. An important thing to bear in mind is these results are very temporary. They can change from day to day or even when you refresh the SERP. You need to wait for consistent rankings before you react to any changes, other wise you will never be able to form a useful strategy.

One thing that is for certain Google is trying out some new algorithm tweaks and rolling back to previous versions.

Could this be preparing the way for the Vince Update that was released in the USA earlier this year.

Could it be more fallout following Google’s announcement regarding PR sculpting - although reportedly that update happened nearly a year ago and so why are we only seeing the effects now?

Would be great to hear your thoughts on what’s a foot with Google and anywhere else we are seeing a good old fashioned Google Dance!

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    Comments (5)

    • Cool Cars

      The Post Office are an example of a big brand that saw its search ranking for 'travel insurance' move to 1st position from outside top 10 in the matter of days. Be interesting to see if the same applies to 'car insurance' for the Post Office.Jul 6, 2009 01:13 pm

    • Douglas Platts - Digital Fingerprint » Fresh From Twitter today

      [...] been seen some major fluctuations in UK SERPs? Let me know your thoughts on what’s going on: #google #serp Written by Doug Platts in: Twitter | Tags: fresh, [...]Jun 26, 2009 12:47 pm

    • Car insurance SERPS – Google Keeping Us On Our Toes! – iCrossing - AutoForexProfit

      [...] View post:  Car insurance SERPS – Google Keeping Us On Our Toes! – iCrossing [...]Jun 26, 2009 12:43 pm

    • TheAnand

      This is pretty much normal. Google recently started kicking out the domain name advantage in niche marketing...a. common SEO strategy. These might be the effects of those in action. However you said it right, wait for the dust to settle is a nice idea.Jun 26, 2009 10:56 am

    • Randip Dhesi

      There are a couple of sites still in the top 10 that do engage in PageRank sculpting, so I'm not sure if it is due to those recent developments.

      Direct line is not in any of the aggregator sites (they market that message too), so perhaps get a lot more brand search queries. This metric could be part of the Vince update perhaps?Jun 26, 2009 10:31 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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