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Is President's day a big deal? Google US traffic is down

     
4:22 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Noticing that the traffic is off today and of course most of it comes from google. This usually happens on holidays, but I hardly consider President's day to be a holiday. Anyone else noticing that their U.S. traffic is down, in a holiday-like pattern?
7:16 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Our traffic is also down; however, we dropped down a position on our main keyword phrase over the weekend, so there are some confounding factors occurring.
7:32 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it's a big day. To give you some idea how many people do not work on Presidents Day, public transit is usually on a weekend schedule. So Google is probably not the issue in your traffic drop.
7:39 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Most banks, government offices, and schools are closed. So instead of sitting around surfing at work or school, a lot of people took advnatage of the 3-day weekend and did something offline. Overall, our traffic on 3-day weekends is much lower than on regular weekends, and the current 3-day weekend is no exception.
7:51 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think it probably depends on the topic and the target audience. Example: On Super Bowl weekend, when a lot of Webmasters were complaining about traffic and revenue lulls, my travel-planning site did extremely well--possibly because a lot of people in the U.S. who didn't like football decided to get away from the TV and research their spring or summer vacations online. (Research has shown that women play a big role in making decisions about leisure travel, so it could very well be that Mom was researching the family vacation while Dad was swilling Bud Lite with his fellow football fans.)

Also, the "traffic goes down because people aren't surfing at work" argument probably made more sense a few years ago than it does now. Today, lots of people have broadband connections at home, so they have less reason to do their online research at the office.

8:28 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i'm seeing massive loss of normal Google traffic. i saw similar situation around the Jan 1 holiday weekend. that tuesday Jan 2 i watched traffic rebound after a dismal weekend. it looked like Google was testing or something b/c the decline was so significant.

is Google conducting holiday tests?

8:32 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think it shows that a lot of people do their Internet surfing from work.
9:07 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think it shows that a lot of people do their Internet surfing from work.

I've come to the same conclusion over the years as well. I have often wondered if this was due to people not having an Internet connection at home, if they were just bored with their jobs and needed a distraction, or some other reason.

9:26 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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some other reason.

If they surf porn at home, their significant others will find out. ;)

I feel that even with high-speed Internet at home, most (other) people don't have their computers on all day. So to play around online involves actually turning on the computer and waiting for it to boot. (And we won't even go into the other delays for people who only have dialup!) While they may be tempted to check something online they just thought of, many will not bother and forget about it.

However, at work, the computer is always on. So it's more likely people will take a "quick break" to check something online at work when they think about it.

At home, there are also a lot of other distractions- TV, family, video games, the 'fridge, newspaper, books, etc. At work, what are you going to do for a distraction if you don't smoke?

10:57 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The traffic stats I see still say that surfing at work is a major factor - VERY major - across all kind of markets. This is true even for some very surprising and quite personal niches, as well as for general ecommerce and information.
11:40 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A reasonable portion of our online customers are workers that, at times, just need to be a 'presence' at their stations.

Some companies have no problem with these employees surfing the web at their slow times.

12:10 am on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Our real estate traffic is down today - I see an increase of about 100 new pages for us reported in the Google index so I would think it will bounce back over the next 24 hours.
1:31 am on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just returned from a long weekend near Tahoe. Traffic going there Saturday and coming back today was tough. One person remarked that a two hour trip on Saturday took them six hours. Those are a lot of vacationers. Presidents Day seems to be a big getaway weekend for many.
6:43 am on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a site that broke records for traffic today. Small commercial site.
7:33 am on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The US Government is off on Presidents' Day so all that traffic you are not getting your usual compliment of traffic from NSA and Homeland Security. :)
7:48 am on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I thought this thread may have been a joke when I first read the title. Obviously not.

What is President's Day and why is it celebrated?

8:28 am on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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What is President's Day and why is it celebrated?

It used to be two separate days recognizing the birthdays of Presidents Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and George Washington (February 22). Quite a number of years ago (I don't know how many) it was decided to celebrate both birthdays on one day and make it always on a Monday so that most folks could have a three day weekend.

4:27 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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as i spot-checked query results yesterday, i saw what appeared to be many small commercial sites at the top of the SERPs. results at Google yesterday looked very similar to results at MSN.

it was almost as if Google dialed down the impact of link data in the algorithm, so smaller sites popped up.

5:30 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It really does depend on your niche whether your site gets more work traffic or home traffic. I have two sites that get a lot more weekend and just after work traffic. One of them even seems to get a slight holiday boost.

Back when we had both Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays off from school, it became known as "ski week" because so many families would take it off to head up to the mountains. There are still lots of people that take it off for 3 or 4 days to do stuff with their kids.

6:32 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Wow, I never would have figured. Interestingly enough, this is the first year I can recall that I've personally seen a traffic dip on Prez day. And it definitely was the effect of Prez day because my U.S. traffic is back to normal. Incidentally, I've never had a job where that was one of my paid holidays.
 

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