SAHover - 3:51 pm on Oct 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
I have a 9-year-old content site that has enjoyed very stable traffic over the past four years, with slow and steady increases. The site has been virtually unchanged since its inception.
On Friday, my traffic dropped by two-thirds, so I came here to see what was what. (It's been years since I whipped myself into a google frenzy - it was bad for my health ;) )
This site was originally designed with the long tail in mind - even back in the day I felt I couldn't compete against the big guns.
So my paying pages are titled along the lines of "john doe widget inventor" versus "john doe".
I researched my top three pages this morning, along with a variety of other performing pages.
All google did was drop me from positions 1 - 3 down to positions 4 - 7 (the blind spot).
The authority sites came in first, with wiki on top across the board. On my number one pay phrase, I dropped from 1 (where I've been for years) to 6. Only one of the pages ahead of me was a made for adsense site, the rest were worthy. (In this instance, it was the imdb, wiki, and two pages from the person's own site.)
Being in the blind spot has cost me two-thirds of my traffic and ruined my holidays, if it holds. Just goes to show the analysts are right that it's better to be at the top or bottom than in the middle of the page.