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Internet usage has declined everywhere I look. Why is this?

even my site's web stats are down.

     
7:49 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Since the 5th of Feb I have noticed a marked decline in forum posts and replys at nearly all those that I frequent and also my ecommerence, eBay sales and page views have plummeted significantly.

Request for info on my products are basically nonexistant as of the 5th.

Seems to have happened overnight.

My Ebay auction page views dropped from over 200 per item to less than 40. These are for the same items I am selling every week.

"DAT Heads" digest only sees a few posts compaired to the lists of topic headers that I almost have to routenely scroll through.

I run a forum and it is the same there, too.

Anyone know the reason why folks are off the net? Any speculations?

Is this the recovery period needed after the Superbowl or did something else happen?

There is definately a net usage slowdown in progress.

8:46 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Just a guess (have been wrong before);

Maybe all your traffic is Google related and since the Austin update your possition in the search results may be poor.

8:53 pm on Feb 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It's obvious you haven't been looking at the same sites I have been looking at.
1:05 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Darren, you aren't on your own! Sales and general interest in my products have gone way down over the last week.

I blame it partly on the Austin update which hit one of my sites really bad, and partly on the fact that Christmas bills still need to be paid.

1:47 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What is this Austin Update?

How is this affecting everyone?

Will engine placement go back to normal soon?

Please fill me in.

Darren

8:43 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Is Feb normally a quiet month? Just curious, sales seem to taper off here too but not too bad.
10:51 am on Feb 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Darren, Austin is the latest in a line of disastrous updates for many ecommerce setups. It seems that Google is trying hard to monetize their SERP's by flushing out overly optimized sites, and therefore forcing them into paying for AdWords.

I have been destroyed by the last update, one of my sites was taking 2 or 3 orders a day, making me roughly $1,000 per month. Now, I am getting somewhere in the region of $250 per month, just because of this update.

The sad thing about this is that there is precious little that can be done, except hoping! I do know that there are many more people affected by these changes, which is of some comfort.

February is usually quiet for me, things don't really get back to normal until March / April. But this is typical for my section of the market, other sites will differ.

10:36 pm on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What is the best web site submission software to use for my own site as well as for clients web sites? I'm not very fond of Addweb, I have been using Submission Spider 7 for now and been getting a lot of failed listings too, but need something more professional than that. How is WebPosition 2 Pro or Ranking-Manager Professional Edition. Any sugesstions? Thanks!
10:55 pm on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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JonP123,

FWIW: DON'T use site submission tools... they're not all they say they are... take a look around here and you'll find discussions about them... to each his own and, of course, IMHO...

3:14 am on Feb 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think you should also factor in if your business has warm or cold seasons. For instance, a website loosely associated with the Superbowl may experience significant traffic gains around the Dec-Feb time-frame, but drop off soon thereafter. Vacation-related sites are similar. They have great activity during months such as December and the summer-time, but slow down during the other months. Depending on how long your business has been up and running, this may be the first time you experience this flucuation. Next year around this time you may see the same drop which may be normal.

I'm certainly not looking to diminish the impact of the search engine indexing activity; that may very well be the major or absolute contributing factor.

8:54 am on Feb 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Re decline in business, there is a virus going around flooding the email system, and infecting some computers I am sure, particularly one might suspect home computers, espcially new users who are not wise enough sometimes to have a firewall, virus scan. Perhaps it shut down enough (home & business users) to cause a problem? Or cause people to stay off the Internet.
12:15 pm on Feb 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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We got well and truly shafted in Florida loosing 35 of 40 top 3 pages listed keyphrases in google organic listing.

I have now plotted out Adword impressions over the last three months and they are all going south. CTR's are down a few fractions of a % so our biggest impact is related to google adword volumes. Our Average position is down a fraction so it doen't look like there has been a huge rush of new bidders in out niche.

Bottom line may be that punters are searching less on google thereby adwords are coming down in volume... Can't fool all of the punters all of the time?

Our sales are now down about 50 % on Oct/Nov, we discount Dec as we are not a Xnas kinda purchase.

My business mentor drilled into me " Never give a supplier a second chance to let you down" Googgle is now a second rate supplier and we won't be relying on anything from them in future.

5:31 am on Feb 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Andy-Boyd wrote:
<Darren, Austin is the latest in a line of disastrous updates for many ecommerce setups. It seems that Google is trying hard to monetize their SERP's by flushing out overly optimized sites, and therefore forcing them into paying for AdWords.<

I would be tempted to agree, as on every update I loose position. But cannot. Every time Google updates I lose my #1 position for certain popular keywords in my retail environment, alway -- every single time. But eventually I climb back after a month or two to my previous position, and again am at #1.

I never buy ADWords for positions where I am already listed on page 1. So, I don't know. It's a mystery, as when I climb back to #1 after falling to #3 or 4, I never do anything to change my page/site, other than normal updates for changing prices, adding new products. I just don't have all those SEO skills to do other things, yet I do get back to #1.

Sometimes, I think this SEO world is too wired. Maybe just having a page/site that is rich in content matters?