backdraft7 - 2:09 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)
We are in the same situation as OHNO and others. I could predict sales out for an entire year based on 10 years of traffic and sales history. The post May day drop in traffic and sales is directly related to the SERP changes (or perhaps more appropriately the ALGO and system changes) at Google. I personally find this thread very useful in tracking these SERP changes by observing the direct impact on our sales and comparing our experience to that of other sites. How else can you quantify SERP changes than by observing shifting traffic levels and wild variations in sales conversions?
As an update: I had more sales in the middle of the night last night than all day yesterday. That is very odd indeed. It's as if the switch is shut off during the day, then turns on at night, yet our traffic levels remain stable or increasing. Spot checking hundreds of key phrases shows us still at the #1 and #2 positions (using trained spotters around the globe) . Again, I believe it's buying human visits vs. non buying machine visits.