whitenight - 10:59 am on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)
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".
Everything is humming along normally on Monday, all X's (thousands)are getting exactly what they usually gets traffic wise so far into that day.
All of the sudden we have a Y that ranks for a major traffic phrase due to social networking, viral, IBL...
Lets say X's usually shows at position 2-10 for serps.
After Y has spiked all X's get depressed to positions 8-25 for the remainder of that day to balance out the difference of what Y spiked for.
If Y continues to spike and stays at that new level of refers then all X's stay at those new depressed rankings forever.
That's basically what is happening.
Hate to appear out of the blue and debunk this theory, but....
These examples are NOTHING ALIKE!
To IMPLY cause and effect, the examples would have to be "somewhat" similar.
ie. Drall's site would have to get 36,000 hits by 9pm, 5pm, 3pm, etc and then get NO hits for the rest of the day for this analysis to be even CLOSE to a SYSTEMATIC example of INTENTIONAL throttling.
If people want to discuss traffic throttling in terms of different SERPs being shown at different times of day, no argument here.
I will agree to that.
But the 3 (since I only trust Tedster's and Drall's anecdotal analysis...sry everyone else) out of Billions(?) of sites that DO NOT fit the ORIGINAL case that tedster based this theory upon, --
It makes this an ANOMALY, not a consistent theory.
Since NO one has reported a replicant of the FIRST case, the theory is flawed to begin with.
I'd suggest throwing out the FIRST case completely.
Start with Drall's example and only use SIMILAR cases that existed BEFORE 2010.
As unfortunately, not enough webmasters have a thorough knowledge of what happened with Caffeine and esp. during the last few months to report "reliable" data that would support this theory.