tessmac - 12:39 pm on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0) [edited by: tessmac at 1:02 pm (utc) on May 24, 2010]
The more that I look at this the more that it seems that old results are being served. I am checking out a one word, ultra competitive keyword on G.co.uk.
1. Lots of newspaper articles...all old, the most recent being 2009. None with cache..
2. Some really awful bebo type pages.
3. Whole bunch ( 40% ) of hacked and redirected authority sites.
4. Top 10, reasonably consistent with what should be there, but these are aged sites with a strong backlink history over several years.
This would also probably account for the decrease in traffic from some sites reported here. It would seem logical that your rankings would hopefully increase with time, and hence your traffic, but if old results are being served, the rankings would be as they were 3/6/9 months ago.
This could also account for the reports here that recent backlinking seem to have been discounted....
If this is the case ( old results )then sites who have recently obtained the majority of their links would suffer the most, with the older sites seeing less disruption albeit at lower traffic levels, regardless of their recent link building history.
If there is a problem G may be serving the last stable results they had,as they have to serve something.
I am kind of hoping this is the case, or we may have to employ Scooby Doo to figure this one out.
[edited by: tessmac at 1:02 pm (utc) on May 24, 2010]