Google Dance

The Google Dance was an update made by the Google search engine. This update changed the positions and PageRank of websites.

The term Google Dance is still used by some webmasters to designate PageRank updates (in the Google toolbar) or during a big update of the Google algorithm.

It is an SEO concept that refers to the movement of search results in a short space of time when Google performs an algorithm update or at the beginning of an SEO campaign.

When a search is performed on Google, it is processed by one of its data centers. Google has installed them all over the world, to be able to respond as quickly as possible on a global scale.

The choice of the center delivering the results page is determined as a function of several parameters ranging from the geographical position of the Internet user through the traffic load borne by each center.

A few years ago, there could be significant differences between the data stored on these different servers.

In addition, a popularity indicator calculated by Google called PageRank was not calculated in real-time. We, therefore, had to wait for Google to publicly offer these new values.

The Google Dance was therefore the period when all of Google’s data centers aligned their data and the value of PageRank was updated.

SEOs eagerly awaited the dance of Google to concretely observe the results of part of their work. Very often this dance took place on the eve of full moon nights.

Why was there the Google Dance?

The Google Dance used to happen monthly in the early days of Google, up until the first years after 2000, and it was a source of frustration for many SEO managers.

Because between the dancing placements of your pages in the PageRank of the search engine, it was impossible to foresee which placement would be expected after the Google Dance had calmed down.  

These phenomena arose because the many thousands of servers that carried out the (new) evaluation and subsequent listing of the many millions of websites could not do this at the same time.

If the monthly change was made to the algorithm and uploaded to the servers, some of them already had the new rankings due to the new evaluation basis, while the other servers had not yet uploaded this as an evaluation basis.

Until all servers were at the same level of the ranking criteria, the search queries could have very different results even within days – this phenomenon was given the name “Google Dance”.

Why is Google Dance no Longer Available?

With the growing numbers of crawled websites and thus ranking factors,  Google introduced its indexing strategy too.

For search queries that are answered as up-to-date as possible, crawling by Google is constantly being improved. Initially, there were gradual changes, but with the Google Caffeine update, a very clear change could be observed.

Originally all pages were scanned and evaluated piece by piece, but since the caffeine Update Google constantly and in parallel, various influences and factors for the ranking are recorded and are constantly and up-to-date included in the page ranking.  

Because new pages must be crawled and influences from evaluation criteria such as backlinks or social media signals flow into the current placement, this crawling process is highly topical and never complete.

Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages per second in this manner. Nearly 100 million gigabytes of memory are required for this. Every day, tens of thousands of gigabytes are added.

Because of this simultaneity, there was no longer any Google Dance on the search engine.