This article is going to set out to explain a strange phenomenon and answer the quest of what is the Google Honeymoon Period.
What is the Google Honeymoon Period
I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently on what is the Google Honeymoon Period; an occurrence where a user will publish a new web page and almost immediately, typically just in 24 hours after getting indexed that page will rank on the first page of Google’s search index for that topic/keyword. The honeymoon proves to be ephemeral, however, and after a week or so that web page will drop and disappear to where it would normally rank, given the SEO given to that page, hence the term “Google Honeymoon Period”. Regardless of the PR of the web site as a whole, this effect seems to be a definite possibility for virtually any web page. The real question is what accounts for this?
Like so many other things, only Google knows for sure. There are, however, a number of possible explanations for this.
One explanation is that Google puts it there to collect data on how relevant that site is for the corresponding keyword phrases and how it performs accordingly. If you’re getting solid and quality visitor experiences with factors such as bounce rate and time on site, Google will make note of that when “redistributing” your page. You’ll likely drop down in rankings either way, but with this explanation the honeymoon exists to determine to what degree it happens.
Another explanation is that Google gives you this artificial temporary boost in rankings to help your site be found by people early on.
It can also be that Google puts a newer page at the top temporarily because it’s a newer page and likely delivers more relevant and current information on that keyword phrase. And what is Google all about if not relevancy?
Considering another more obvious point, it could just be that the keyword which you’re targeting has very little competition at that point as you’re targeting a new product or perhaps proper name which will soon be rapidly trending and soon more authoritative sites will begin writing about that phrase and inevitably and ultimately displace you.
Typically after the honeymoon, you find yourself dropped right into the Google sandbox, so you may be scratching your head wondering why they bothered to help you out at all.
It’s important to keep the “Google Honeymoon Period” in mind for times when you do start off with a lofty comfortable spot in the SERPs but suddenly find your ranking and traffic drop off. This should serve as a reminder of why you should want to fight for a legitimate first page listing in the first place.