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Can anyone confirm if there have been any significant advertising campaigns by any of the major search engines which might cause these sort of shifts?
To answer your question, no, nothing has happened in the last few months to cause a significant loss of market share to google.
Some factors you might not have considered:
- while your position might be the same, a better selection of sites might be showing up above you.
- are you comparing results of keyphrase to keyphrase? Or are you comparing total traffic and checking the position of a *few* keyphrases. With over 30,000 keyphrases that deliver referrals, I am not able to check all of my keyphrases.
- seasonal shifts.
- different, less appealing snippet.
I do think that some of the other search engines are picking up some traffic, but I think google is gaining traffic faster than they are losing it.
I know that one site doesn't prove anything, much less a trend, but it appears that many others are experiencing the same thing.
I have no doubt that the quality of my competitors sites is one factor and that might not of mattered as much in the past with the numbers of new people going on line each month. I remember reading that the number of new folks going on line each month is not increasing as fast as before. Maybe that's a factor.
My position in the major SEs has remained relatively constant, but traffic generally and specifically from Google has taken a dive.
but it appears that many others are experiencing the same thing.
Yes, and as I pointed out, they have been experiencing it for as long as I have been reading WW.
And at the same time as all these people are seeing a reduction in referrals, there are a huge number of sites seeing an increase or a fairly steady number of referrals.
For there to be a swift and dramatic change in searching habits, there has to be a known triggering event, and there has been none.
A gradual change on the other hand, is probably happening, but I personally expect that it is still a net gain for google. I know of people that use MSN as their ISP that have changed to using Google to search within the last year. I don't know of anyone that has switched to searching primarily with MSN that does not have an MSN account.
1)The nature of product you're selling. There may be a variation in the demand.
2)Seasonal variations for the product.
3)Check out the title tag of your competitor just above and below you. They might be getting more attention.
4)Check out for some other competitive product that might be altering your market.
5)Some festive season or holiday can alter the sales and search rate.
i hope this helps!