backdraft7 - 3:12 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)
@RC - Yes, exactly that. I checked my top two dozen key phrases both locally, with personalization off and through several colleagues around the world. All reported pretty much the same positions. So, if I am still listed well, then yes, it would indicated one of two things: 1. Traffic throttling. 2. Google is temporarily broken. Theory #2 does not hold too much water because when we click those links they land correctly.
I've also mentioned my competitor site who is listed right next to me on some queries. When things are running smoothly, he gets about one tenth the sales I get. When zombie traffic starts, that gaps closes dramatically, as if they are "load balancing" between us.
In the past several years, I have also noticed that the variation of my sales conversions has smoothed out and on a week basis, my sales will nearly be the exact same as the prior week. This again indicates some sort of throttling.
Why January started out fine is anybodies guess, but it seems those on & off cycles are back.
Sales have recovered some yesterday, but it seems like slow traffic again this morning.