TheMadScientist - 9:10 am on Nov 29, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: TheMadScientist at 9:37 am (utc) on Nov 29, 2012]
I haven't read the entire thread by any stretch, but has anyone really dug into dates/visitors/sales on a monthly and annual basis for multiple sites and businesses within a niche to see if there's a month-over-month or year-over-year pattern, including comparing Website Sales to Brick & Mortar Sales cycles?
The reason I ask is I know of a niche where I happened to have access to the stats from 5 different sites, all run by different people and also the year over year sales data for the 5 businesses that owned the sites and it always surprised people when I could tell them when their sales would be before I looked at anything to do with their business, because I could say, 'Will you grab the numbers from [some random month from a random year] and tell me if your sales were highest between [this day] and [that day] ... Then there was a drop off ... Then from [this day] to [that day] picked up again.' and it was always the same pattern. (Got quite a few 'Huh? HowTF!?' looks actually lol.)
Looked at in isolation as a single site or business (I started digging because I thought there was an issue on a site) it could easily have appeared (did appear) to be 'zombie traffic' and/or 'throttling', but when the 'brick and mortar' version of the sales showed the same increase / decline (for years) and all the sites had almost exactly the same traffic pattern, I thought a little bit I realized it wasn't anything wrong with the site or search terms or visitors, the problem was the visitor's bank account ... It turned out what appeared to be a search engine issue on a site was really cyclical sales that revolved around pay dates ... People turned into 'zombies' for periods of the month, then bought when they had the money.
[edited by: TheMadScientist at 9:37 am (utc) on Nov 29, 2012]