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What does it mean when you are in the "honeymoon" period for google and/or search engines? How does it affect SERPs?
The honeymoon period is a short period where new sites, content and pages get a "boosted" rank in SERPs. The content is fresh and new. After the honeymoon period, a site decreases in SERPs which is commonly mistaken for dancing.
It's when you have a new site and Google is doing his job properly but it's usually short lived. After which Google would start charging you to boost your site, just like what Facebook is doing now to its Pages, that's why people are starting to migrate to Russia's VK.
I didn’t know about this period but my take at first glance is also related to the ranking but not as you said. Of course, I may be wrong but let me explain my thinking. The word honeymoon is used for new period in the political arena like media should be kind to the newly elected politicians. The same way in the internet I think the honeymoon period is to let the new sites be there for a period before giving them the ranking.
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.
Basically Google gives you a taste of the "good life" you'll get high rankings and visitor rates for a short time after which Google will turn it off do that you have to spend more money.