Shaddows - 8:01 am on Sep 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
Is anyone with lowish traffic (say <10000 uniques/day) throttled? Or is it just the bigger sites?
I'm defining "throttling" as consistant traffic levels every day over a period of at least a month, not "unfair loss of traffic after a specific day, even though rankings appear the same"
I'm inhouse, so only have 1 site, which is not throttled. But reading people's reports, it sounds a lot like Google is spreading the traffic around.
Like TMS pointed out a few months ago, being SERP#1 means you are better than 99.9999% of sites that are elegible for that phrase, and thats if theres only 1m results. Since I don't think you can meaningfully rank 1m sites and come up with a comprehensive top-10 that is indisputably better then the other 999990, it seams only fair that the also-rans get traffic.
In fact, you need to rotate SERPs to gauge relative USER satisfaction (automation only taking you so far), to determine your optimum top-10 to deliver your core mission (showing people what they want to see).
Having no real data to use, I can only speculate. However, I suspect the story goes like this.
1) Grow until you are big- but not uniquely big.
2) Be identified as part of an "oligopoly" of similar-value sites
3) Have traffic rather than ranking aportioned by relative value.
4) Have rest of traffic shared to newcomers
I further suggest you can break the stagnation by:
1) Losing value relative to the group
2) Gaining MASSIVE value relative to the group (I'm thinking an order of magnitude, or several multiples of the group)
3) Radically redefining your site, so it serves a different, or additional niche, or chnages function (ecom domain becoming purely informational, for e.g)
Once a nice is filled by at least 5 largish sites that dominate for a keyphrase set, it no longer makes sense to RANK them on merit, as ranking itself distorts the fair allocation of relative merit.