tedster - 5:44 pm on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
The first time I heard of apparent traffic throttling, the long term day-by-day graphs were pretty much flat-lined. But the hour-by-hour graphs were amazing. Every day at a certain traffic level, the Google traffic graph looked like a buzz cut had been applied - straight to zero within a given hour and no more traffic until the next day.
That seemed pretty heavy handed to me, and I wonder if the throttle has become more subtle now. I don't work with any sites who are seeing a throttle today, so I don't have any data of my own on it.
Yes, I agree that traffic throttling seems (or at least seemed) to be a trust-related action. It was also rare enough that many SEOs doubted it was really happening, but the data I've seen says it was real.