TheMadScientist - 2:07 am on Jan 14, 2013 (gmt 0)
I guess it's probably a good time to 'spill the beans' and let people know my thoughts in this thread and the Business Survival, With Or Without Google Organic Traffic [webmasterworld.com] (I definitely recommend it if you've read this one but haven't made it through the other one yet, because the direction Google's going doesn't look too promising for many sites as 'personalization refinement' gets better.) stemmed from...
The Zombie Traffic from Google and Traffic Shaping/Throttling - Analysis [webmasterworld.com] thread, because when I read through it and realized they're not updating the algo as often and as drastically as traffic is switching on some sites, there are members who saw the traffic patterns described occasionally, there are members who 'got out of it' and there's no one who's got deep enough pockets in there to worry about 'extracting a buck from' ... I wondered why someone would write an algo that 'auto switches' some sites (but definitely not all) between resultsets automatically and why that switching 'ramps up' around the time of updates, and why other sites would see it occasionally for short periods of time, and why sometimes it keeps traffic almost exactly the same between different resultsets (visitor groups) ... The only thing that made any sense to me is the algo is trying to 'refine results and categorize sites' based on Google's visitor behavior, not links, not on page factors (those don't change based on 'split testing visitor types sent'), so visitor behavior had to be the factor and there were (are) some 'it wasn't sure what to do with based on other factors, so it tested behavior' ... Anyway, that thought 'started the chain' that led to the information in the two threads I've posted in recently that deal directly with Google moving (having moved?) in the direction of machine learning (much sooner than later).
I think there was way more info available about how Google actually works in the Zombie thread than most people probably noticed, because to see it I had to 'step back' and think 'Why, how, for what reason? The algo's switching results around by itself on these sites and stopping by itself on some of them and keeping traffic almost exactly the same between resultsets on some ... What's it looking for?', so Huge Thanks to all the 'Crazy Zombie Chasers' who contributed, because those contributions led to some meaningful discussions and forwarding looking conclusions I hope quite a few people will benefit from in the long-run.