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My theory about a spike / megaflux on Jan 14



12:29 pm on Jan 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Yesterday there has been a big change in our traffic for about 5 hours. Numerous other webmasters mentioned the same - and some might be very frustrated now because all reverted back to the current search results.

Personally, I have never seen such a big movement in such a short amount of time.

This early morning I was very frustrated. My first thought has been: hey, they tried it again - it didn't worked. Google is broken, yadda yadda .. all the stuff a webmaster with thousands of supplemental pages thinks.

But then, after the first coffe I started thinking again. What could be the reason for such a large movement? Why in the world would a search engine change the entire results (and that must have been millions of pages) for such a short amount of time?

I came up with two possibilities:

1. Something went wrong.

Whatever happened, after 5 hours it turned out to be "no good" and somebody (or some routine) took the decision to take the newest brew offline.

2. It was planned for a reason.

This was a planned shakeup because the worlds number one search engine would not move millions of pages unintentional.

What i have found out so far - most of the traffic that came in yesterday has been traffic for the keywords my website ranked before december 15/16. Basically I had the same traffic as I had 1 month ago. Could it be that old data jumped back into the index for 5 hours? Millions of pages? Just like that? An old datacenter demanded some exposure?

Then it striked me - what if that megaflux (or however you want to call it) was fully intentional? What could Google gain from that?

Since a long time I believe that Google is collecting much more Data then just our websites html. Identifying matching websites for certain search phrases demands user feedback. Deep tracking. Basically they will use Adsense, Analytics and Google Toolbar for that (and more probably). If you can't trust what some webmasters write on their pages - use other large scale data that can't be manipulated.

So, they know what kind of traffic I do have on my website that shows adsense and uses analytics. They know from where I do get my traffic, when I get it and how I get it.

Now to my conclusion: if Google is provoking a complete shift of their results for a limited amount of time - they are able to identify pages that are affected by that. They get large scale data about the pages that rank under different circumstances. 1:1.

I say it was intentional, planned and they will use the collected data during the next few days or weeks.

Whether they will use it in the way I wish - that is another story.

What do you think?


ps. sorry for my crude english - im not a native speaker...


7:58 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

you mean your site is back as it was before?

back almost to previous values

The January fall was for the period 15-27 Jan, and the figure quoted was cf 02-14 Jan. The 28 January rise is just one day (currently maintained).


11:27 am on Feb 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It's happening again (reference: Twin Peaks):

February 10:

  • Google referrals have fallen by 76%
  • Site visitors have fallen by 58%
(stats are via Google Analytics and compare Sat Feb 3 to Sat Feb 10).

I do not have hourly stats--my nerves are bad enough using daily stats--but, as best can be estimated at my end, it seems that one of the inmates of the Asylum decided to twiddle some knobs before going home on Friday.

Here is my site's Google history for the last 6 weeks or so:

  • Before Mon 15 Jan: many months of stable behaviour.
  • Monday 15 Jan [webmasterworld.com]: 68% fall in Google referrals compared to previous Monday.
  • Mon 15 - Sat 27 Jan: G-referrals remain at the same, lower level.
  • Sunday 28 Jan [webmasterworld.com]: return to original levels; Mon 29 is virtually identical to Mon 8.
  • Sun 28 - Fri 9 Feb: G-referrals remain at the same, original level.
  • Sat 10 Feb: current fall in referrals is even larger than the previous one (83% of the Sat 20 Jan figure).
Further, interesting final feature:
I noticed yesterday that Adsense [https://www.google.com/adsense/] was down (although the ads themselves were still appearing on my site). When last time this happened, 2 weeks ago, Adsense was also reported to be down [webmasterworld.com].


4:48 am on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Adsense is down every Satrurday for regular maintaince.

That doesnt have anything with SERPs.


5:37 am on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Adsense is down every Satrurday for regular maintaince.

What on earth are they doing? Polishing brass handrails?


5:41 am on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Same here:

25-27 January: down in a hole

28 January: back to normal

9-12? February: even worse than 25-27 January


2:09 am on Feb 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Adsense is down every Satrurday for regular maintaince.

Well, almir, you better tell us where you got that info from, since this post from AdSenseAdvisor [webmasterworld.com] contradicts you (refers to Adsense being unavailable on Sat Feb 10):
Any outage you experienced with the AdSense homepage this weekend was a minor site issue, not system maintenance ... we'll keep letting you know about scheduled downtime in advance

So, the "Further interesting feature" remains: both sudden falls were preceded by the Adsense Control-Panel going down. Whether coincidence or connected-feature remains to be determined.


2:47 am on Feb 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

May be, havent see that cause I was used on satursay's maintaince downtimes.


6:19 am on Feb 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Quick report: G referrals have fallen for my site--yet again--across last weekend and Mon/Tue. This is rubbing salt into an open wound.

A year's work, and I am at 20% of the equivalent period in 2006.


6:23 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Sunday 25 Feb, and the Duke has marched his men back up to the top of the hill.

(Plain speak): 15 days after the last fall, the AWStats for unique visitors show a rise back to virtually the same levels as before.


6:45 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am seeing some descent ranking increases across the board. Some that dropped out of the top 100 are now in the top 10 again.
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