IanTurner - 8:52 pm on Sep 23, 2010 (gmt 0)
I've been reading this topic because I have been investigating some sites that look like they are suffering from the same issue.
One site had steady traffic at about 1K per day for months - the performance of the site wasn't great so we optimised the DB and increased site load speed - traffic then went up to 5K per day in steady 500 chunks usually settling at a new level for about 3-4 days before gaining the next chunk. It has levelled out at 5K per day and has been steady for some weeks now.
The other one we deal with has steady traffic with what I would call a normal weekly profile for the industry - except for the fact that it stays at the same maximum level. You can add large sections of content, remove large sections of content, add links, optimise pages all to no avail.
I was fairly sure that improving server speed was going to help site two until Rumbas posted, now I'm not too sure. Rumbas did you increase the pipe to the server as well as increasing the server speed? - Is there any chance that the pipe may be pushing too much traffic through it and slowing down the performance? Have you tried delivering the pages with compression?
From what I am seeing I think there is more than one throttle filter in place. I would suggest that at least two are in play:
No 1. is to do with raw site performance as we have seen evidence that improving performance can break a traffic cap (whether this is Google using its spider as a response time checker or whether it is user response data being filtered back into the algorithm - i.e. site quality goes down when performace is slow - I don't know, or perhaps both come into play.)
No.2 is some kind of traffic equalisation which drall and rumbas seem to be seing, based on rotating SERPs the reasoning behind which I can't fathom at the moment.