steerpikegg - 7:33 pm on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)
I sympathise deeply - this is exactly my story. Something went badly wrong for me at the beginning of February 2010 and since then, we have never regained anything like the traffic we had for the past 3 years. This year has seen incredible lows matched with hopeful looking increases for a week or two and then back down to a flatline level. I cannot fathom the reason - I have, like you tried everything possible in terms of ensuring compliance, fixing canonicals etc.
It feels almost like G has singled us out as a kind of lab-rat dangling on a piece of elastic this year. I am really hoping that I can just write 2010 off and that we may find some stability in 2011. If not, then the boot really is going to be on the other foot and I am going to set up a new site using every dirty trick in the book to try to claw some cash back in before our business disappears down the drain.
Google are trying to compensate for a fundamentally flawed search engine by constantly moving goal posts and adding worthless bells and whistles to polish their 'turd'.
If you told anyone, layman or expert that you were going to build a search system that deliberately avoided showing things that match your query, they would just laugh and think you were joking. Google are definitely not joking. They seem to be obsessed with making it impossible to 'game' the search engine, and if this means results that look like they've been run through a bingo machine then so be it.
Their unhealthy obsession with localised results also grates with me. I could count on one hand the amount of times I search the web for something 'local' without adding my location to the end of the query. The clue is in the name - WORLD WIDE web.