I'm a newbie, so I'm open to advice. I'm trying to understand how google works because I'm not sure what is happening with some of my pages.
I made 6 pages and am logging what happens so I can understand things as I learn. I chose very very low search keywords, so I can see how they rank quickly. This was 2 weeks ago.
In the 2 weeks, what happened was all the 6 got into the top 10 of their keywords (again, these are super super low search keywords, I intentionally am trying them so I can see how the rankings work, not anything worthwhile I you want to make any money, just for learning right now).
But right now a strange thing happened, 3 of them are still climbing in the top 10, but the other 3 fell all the way to position 900+ or so.
Can anyone explain what is happening?
The 6 sites are the same, 6 different keywords, but pretty much same layout, though different keyword density, some higher than others. So not sure if that affects it.
I've heard of google dance. Is this google dance or is it telling me that google doesn't like something in the other 3 (which I'll have to figure out and fix)? Also, if it is google dance, how can you tell if the movement is google dance or not, are there any signs, and how long does that usually last?
Are you saying that your six pages all have similar content, but with different keyword densities?
If so, then the most likely explanation is that Google has now recognised the similarity in content, and sees no reason to show the same pages at the top of the results. If the information that a user is seeking is in one of the pages, there's no point in showing them all.
I applaud your efforts in "trying to understand how google works", and wish you the best of luck. I've been trying for the last ten years, and every time I think I'm getting somewhere, everything changes.
Seriously though, if you do learn anything from your experiments, do please share it. But keep in mind that a site with only six pages, built for the express purpose of learning and experimenting, is not typical of sites as a whole.
If the content is different can you specify what techniques do you adopt to get your sites ranked are they all white hat techniques or you are engaged in doing some black hat for experimentation, I have heard of the Google Dance but, this may not be the case as far as I know, because Google will not directly take out a page from top SERP page and place it directly above 10 page just for making it random, check with the webmaster tools for the on page of the site, are the meta tags properly optimized, and have you provided different description for different site or are they same.
What Keyword density you use in the content, It should be only 2-3% per 100 words of a content and it means you can only use a keyword 2-3 times in a whole page of 100 words if it is more than it may lead to keyword stuffing, and this is a black hat practice.
herryscary; try and post some more detail as requested, or write out a link with gaps if you can't post a link yet so we can take a look, it's hard to help you knowing so little about what you've done, there have been a lot of Google changes lately in all sorts of areas.
Google Dance refers to Google updating things, in the past the algorithm had monthly changes and so once a month the results would dance around when the new changes were applied, then there was a long period of minor tweaking at Google so the dramatic monthly dance died away. A lot of people are saying it's back now because of all the algorithm changes going on at the moment, you get results dancing around again (found a little more detail in an opinion article here; marketingland.com/the-return-of-the-google-dance-22206). Basically, the Dance itself doesn't do anything to your search listings, but an algorithm change like Panda, Penguin or whatever can have an effect as it is applied, causing the site to dance.
I don't think I explained that very well... Try this; you go to a club with a friend, they suggest you dance, you don't want to, they get you drunk, you dance. The dance didn't make you dance, getting drunk did. So you need to figure out what's getting your website drunk?
There are thousands of factors which go into ranking a web page. We would like to know more about your link building techniques? Also depending on the competition the ranking is set. You will have to work hard to get to top if you are in a high competitive niche. Note: IT has nothing to do with search volume. You will get some idea of the competition by searching for that keyword in double quotes. ("keyword") and see the number of results, that is the competition. A new website will keep dancing before getting a stable position.
If the sites are new then you just need to play the waiting game. Google tests sites in different positions to figure out which ones are the best. In GWT you can see the click through rate in different rankings. Think about this from the perspective of a search engine: They "test" a site out in position 1 or 2 or 3 or whatever. They know the history of this keyword. They know that putting you in position 5 puts the old position 5 site down to 6. They throw a chunk of impressions at this and find out that your site has a lower CTR than the other site and that more people come back to the search results page after seeing your site. That means it's not as high quality as the other 9 sites on the SERP.
All of this comes back to one thing: Time. Google takes its business seriously, and effort over time is the best way to rank for keywords.