We experienced about a 50%+ decline in clicks from the Merchant center on March 15th through the 16th and seemed to have rebounded this morning, the 17th.
I checked a few of our well performing keywords that were in spot 1 or 2 and it seemed that our products for those keywords had been moved down the shopping results page about 20-40 spots!
We were replaced with Amazon for the most part, who would usually take the spot right before or right after us in the top 3 spots.
We manually upload our feed files and did nothing differently than the usual every day to every 2nd day upload. There were nos errors or issues that showed so we are confused as to why this would happen and are unsure how to protect our placements or prevent it from happening again.
Anyone else experience something similar either on March 15th or anytime in the past?
One thing I have noticed is that there are some Big Brand sites who are using the same model as Amazon (selling every product from every joe-blow seller willing to pay) showing up in searches where they never existed before. So what I'm seeing now in the top 3 results is Amazon, buy and the newest member to follow suit, sears.com....
Some of these retail giants MUST be gaming google! There's no way that right before x-mas a new player would pop up out of nowhere (al la JC Penney, overstock last year) without something fishy going on.