scottsonline - 4:45 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: tedster at 5:29 pm (utc) on Mar 24, 2012]
1. A week ago if I searched for my alma mater and the word tumbler in an attempt to buy the one advertised in the alumni magazine I found one of the approved university resellers or used items on eBay. Searching yesterday and today I get tumblr microblog pages that may talk about my particular university but that have nothing to do with the item. So google has bumped up the authority of tumblr and now assumes via some tweak that I actually wanted joe publics blog post about someone receiving tenure at said university versus the item I specifically triggered. That's a big change in the last 2-3 days.
2. Sites previously demoted as duplicates are rocking. A week or two ago if I searched for "brand product xyz" I'd get the manufacturer and a bunch of resellers. Maybe a YouTube video and the onebox. The organic SERPS contained mostly independent sites. Thursday thru today? In many cases the first five spots are occupied by the same business running sites selling the same item at the same price but using different keywords as described for the meta title and URL. "custom cut product xyz" on one site, "product xyz customized for you" on another times a thousand products. Google will rank them 1-2-3-4. If you add to cart and the check out you are dumped to the parent site. If you need assistance online chat dumps you to the parent site. Scripts all over the pages point to the parent site. This is a very recent change again. These sites had been demoted in most verticals.
People are telling us about long tail. #1 may explain how longer tail is being hit as google misinterprets what people want in plain English and promote keyword rich sites upward. #2 can also explain the long tail drop on less frequently searched terms as effective mirrors dominate the top results.
Combined with the display changes to the SERPS with the onebox and product ads we are probably able to explain the periods of zombie traffic.
[edited by: tedster at 5:29 pm (utc) on Mar 24, 2012]