rocco - 8:18 am on May 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
The supermarket example doesn't really make sense cos in a supermarket you would be looking for the same products every week. Don't tell me that you keep searching for the same term on google every week unless it is a specific website you're looking for - in that case you just type the name.
I used to laugh at people searching "ebay.com" and the like. Now, I search exactly the same, I do not bookmark sites that I often use, just sites which I do not want to forget and check back somewhen.
So if I am searching for the Railroad schedule, I want to find the same site everytime .... why I use google for it, well, it saves time, because of typos like "rialroad" I will most like get DNS error from the address bar, but google will correct me. and using chrome gives the feeling of searching, even going to google.
An even better example:
I search almost everyday "webmaster tools" - without quotes. I expect the link to the page which redirects me to the GWT dashboard in my language. Mostly it works perfect. But days like today, google thinks, they should better place another result at the top - the "Remove Page". Might this be a hint?
Now, writing this, I searched for "webmaster tools" again, and the "remove" link is gone, the expected page is on top.
Google has to deal with such odd behavior - not the behavior of one person, but of million ones.
** 2nd edit
And to come back to the real topic:
My biggest Long Tail Looser usually counts 120k googlebot hits a day in GWT. I april, it started to get 350k. Today I am seeing over 750k hits on the graph. While traffic fell 35% googlebot increased 500%.
I expect similar observations by other WW-posters.