tedster - 10:23 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
I think you're looking in a very good direction - one that i've also been playing with for a while.
Your idea of "traffic shaping" is a kind of umbrella or meta-idea that could absorb many topics that have been cropping up for a while, including:
1. How can traffic stay stable, even though conversions come in spurts and then die away?
2. Why do I see sudden changes in country sources for traffic, even though total traffic stays level?
3. Why do the UK SERPs have so many non-UK results at times?
4. Is Google throttling my traffic? Why doesn't it go up no matter what I do?
I'd like to go back at least two years to the time when Google began to focus on user intention and website types. We noticed this "intention engine" development as it applied to types of queries.
We talked about 3 very big buckets of intention "informational, navigational and transactional" - although I'm sure Google has a much more refined set of user intention buckets than this. Another user intention could be "locational". There's little doubt that some queries have an implied geographic component.
Here's the missing piece in that analysis. In order to tailor specific SERPs to specific user intentions, Google must also assign each website, and possibly each URL, to a specific taxonomy. Only then would they understand which type of page should be returned to which type of user intention.
It seems to me that Google has cranked up some kind of statistical testing - one that tries out a given page against different types of query intentions, and then takes note of the results. After a while, they could discover which intention taxonomy works best and then make a more stable assignment of website type - and some pages might have more than one type.
Yes, this thread is not the place for complaining.
Serious analysis only, please!