wingslevel - 7:35 pm on May 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
Less long tail pages in index = Dumbed down serps
This has been happening ever since the birth of the supplemental index. For whatever reason, google has chosen to severely limit the occurence of four and five word keywords. Instead they try to divine the user's intent and present him with a more general two or three word phrase. I find this quite annoying when I am searching for something specific. It approaches arrogance on google's part.
The reason google was successful in the first place was its ability to find the most relevant page for 'men's fuzzy blue widgets'. If I took the time to type all of that in, please give me those pages!
To throw in my data, my 150k page site has experienced only a 10% traffic drop since early April. But my google referrals are increasingly coming into my 2 word pages. So, using the above example, my traffic to 'men's fuzzy blue widgets' is down and my traffic to 'blue widgets' is up. When I actually search for 'men's fuzzy blue widgets', its not even in the serp, but there is 'blue widgets' with another 2 word indent listing. I am still getting the traffic, but conversions are down.
Although my business has been only mildly affected, I am honestly saddest because I am getting worse serps for my own searches. I really think google serps have been dumbed down!