backdraft7 - 3:26 pm on May 30, 2012 (gmt 0)
@tedster - the slashed keywords is post Penguin and an entirely new aspect. The shaping still appears at the lower traffic levels. The past 21 days has had the same number of sales each day +/- 1. (Example: 5,5,6,5,4,5,5,6,5,5,6,4,5,etc.) My Apache volume is no longer a nice bell shape, but rather a flattened square wave shape.
I've run my numbers back to 2003 when I had even lower traffic levels, but had more natural variation and much better conversions. (Example: 5,14,8,7,18,6,8,10,15,9,6,12, etc.)
I attribute most of this problem due to poorly targeted and 'shaped' traffic that began post Mayday 2010.
One thing is certain, I'm not the only one experiencing this phenomenon.