backdraft7 - 5:28 pm on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
I think the Zombie traffic issue is about more than testing. I think it's simply a methodical stripping of all good converting keyphrases for a particular site and it doesn't take much testing to determine what those phrases are. Why would they do such a thing?
1. The money.
2. They can.
What we've been left with is phrases that attract "less targeted" and lower volumes of traffic. I've now seen a 50% + loss of sales, yet strangely traffic is only down by 25 to 30%. This actually makes sense because as you drop in traffic, the 2% rule becomes less likely to be fulfilled. (for those who don't know, two percent is the number of conversions, under typical conditions, that you can expect on you best days. It's considered in my book to be the Holy Grail of sales. If you can do 2%, you're doing great! In most cases it's less).
Look, it's not about quality content, the current serps prove that.
Google wants diversity and the obvious side effect of diversity is sending the customer multiple places before they find what they were looking for. When your users have the attention span of a flea (most do) by the time they find something useful, they've been diverted to a different topic and forget about what they were originally looking for.
Google has simply pulled one of the oldest tricks in the grocery business. Rearrange your store so your old reliable customers have to looks harder for what they came for. Is that a better "user experience". No. If it was better, we as users would be experiencing it.
I also suggest we not believe everything being told to us by MC, LP and the Mountain View PR office or at the very least filter it with common sense and real world observations.