John - 1:30 pm on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
I have a domain ranked no2 on Google for which I have a traffic graph going back to 1992.
Currently my traffic is about 13% of what it was back at it's peak in 1996 and conversion is down to about 20% of what it was at it's peak in about 1997.
If you set up a hot dog stand at a football game you will sell a few hot dogs to those who drift over to your stand and you will effect those stalls around you a little bit.
If several more hot dog sellers arrive every week and spread themselves out around the ground most won't effect you immediately but some will. After a few months you realise that your taking are down and yet there seems to be the same number of folks around.
Then the alternatives to hot dogs start to arrive but you probably don't see them as they are around the back of the stadium.
Conversion rates to hot dogs start to fall so even opening up another hot dig stall doesn't appear to help you but it is what you know so you stick with it.
Only after the new fangled stores start to appear on your patch do you start to think that the days of hot dogs are maybe numbered.
But you now have a whole load of hot dog stalls set up and you just can't bring yourself to think that maybe you would be better off if you tweaking them a bit or moved your pitch a bit to the left or right.
Eventually you realise that the whole take on hot dogs is down and it is being shared by more vendors with other offerings.
The belly of the crowd is only so big and so are the pockets of the buying public.