scottsonline - 4:54 am on Sep 8, 2012 (gmt 0)
"something" happened during the day Thursday US time. Maybe starting later Wednesday. Seems to have cycled through as Friday went along.
Not only did our traffic get really odd with the normal international flux of useless clicks but the telltale bumping of a new test site in between position 1 and 4 started. Over the next week or four this site will fall from 2 to 10 as user data shows its not what people want.
Example that fits with US news of the day: you are a customer that wants to buy a really cool scarf that is in all the fashion magazines. You want it for the upcoming winter. You search and suddenly this week in the #2 spot is a store selling this scarf but with some political candidates slogan on it. Not what you wanted at all. Google knows the site is a good one just doesn't know where it fits. In these updates it gets bumped everyone else gets bumped down but slowly it filters down the page. Happens like clockwork in the days prior to and during updates and changes and it's happening now.