tedster - 2:39 am on Sep 20, 2010 (gmt 0)
The topic of Google traffic throttling came up a good number of times over the past two years or more. Some doubt that it happens - others are convinced but have trouble breaking through the wall of other's doubt.
Last year I saw the analytics for one site that showed a drop to zero Google traffic every day at around the same time - it stayed at zero until the next day and then it cycled again. I also saw another major enterprise site that only had first page ranking for a specific 4-hour period every day. Both of the cases persisted for many weeks, but both eventually "returned to normal".
Just recently someone else contacted me with the graphs to show something very strange. Three months of nearly level Google traffic (unnaturally level in my experience) followed by a huge spike that lasted 4 hours - I'm talking up 1,000%.
So I think it's time to look at this topic again - seriously. It's not a fantasy. Something Google does every so often looks like traffic throttling or rationing. Here's a post from just today:
backdraft: I get these "windows" of sales only minutes apart, then hours of nothing. It's as if Google can turn us on and off while still showing our site in the SERPS. That is very strange and an experience shared by other sites over in the UK. I am in the US.
Here's a small sampling of past and recent discussion:
1. Google Traffic Throttling - where are we on this? [webmasterworld.com]
2. Time of day rankings changes [webmasterworld.com]
3. The Yo Yo Effect - is it now getting worse? [webmasterworld.com]
4. Huge drop in my blog traffic [webmasterworld.com]
5. Google Toggles our High Ranking On/Off Again and Again [webmasterworld.com]
6. One day spike in Google referrals [webmasterworld.com]
7. Is there a threshold for google traffic? [webmasterworld.com]
And there's more where that came from.
It seems like it's a lot harder to pin down now, and it was never easy. So what do you see? Is anyone wrestling with this on their own sites? Any ideas how it is being accomplished?