Almost wanted to cry a little while ago, well not really but it was definitely a "grab a bag of popcorn and watch the show in amazement" type moment.
I've lost some traffic to individual pages recently so I was trying to figure out the where and why, and I seem to have found it. In Google Webmaster Tools I was looking over my "search queries" list and clicking on individual keywords with the date set to 90 days and a startling pattern showed up.
My pages seem to have been plugging along just fine until they reach a cliff and go straight to zero impressions in the top 10 of serps, like a monumental cliff. This is on an individual keyword by keyword basis, not page by page, and the dates it happens are not the same!
Clicking through to the new results for those keywords reveals 100% (!) of them are now of the one site ranking large numbers of pages and dominating page one of results while my single or double page entry is relegated to the 2nd or 3rd page below this monster site listing.
The reason I wanted to cry is because, of the keywords that don't have a proverbial cliff in their graph (yet), the results are NOT dominated by one site (yet). I don't have copious amounts of content pages about each keyword and so my getting one of the monster results is unlikely.
What I took from it: My pages are top ranked even if they don't get traffic anymore, I did rank above the sites now getting multi-page treatment in serps for these same keywords just before the treatment started. This tells me that if my site does whatever it takes to get multi-page treatment that I may very well outrank the new top 10 again.
Question is - how exactly does one go about getting so many pages indexed for one keyword? It's almost mandatory now...