Marketing_Guy - 1:06 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)
It's easy to blame Google for bad results in terms of sales, but it could just be the market is changing overall and end users are becoming much more savvy and rather than using Google as a gateway to ecom sites, the average person is using it as a research tool.
That would affect conversion rates in comparison to historical data - similar traffic levels, but people shopping around more compared what they would do 5/10 years ago. Plus with a new generation coming into adult age that have spent their entire lives with access to the web - that's a very different market to the one most of us started out with.
I'd be willing to bet most webmasters spend more time keeping up to date with Google changes compared to the amount of time they spend researching how their customer base has changed.
10 years is a long time - if your product is restricted to a specific age demographic, then you have a whole new customer base to think about compared to a decade ago. Even an established customer base that is monetised through repeat sales has changed and become more used to using the Internet for research. Add to that the impact of social media, price comparison websites, increased competition, shopping sites, voucher sites, etc..
Technical SEO analysis of rankings is one thing - analysing conversion rates based on what is still largely anonymous Internet traffic is a whole other art form. Just because a site was ranked number 1 last year, the year before or whatever, doesn't mean it stood up to the competition in terms of quality, trust, brand, value for money and so on.
Could it be the case what people are seeing isn't just Google issues, but market issues where people becoming more discerning shoppers in a more social age?