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I've wondered too as to why some search terms are affected more than others and some result pages are changing around while other barely move.
Has anyone seen any relationship between how popular a search the term is and how much movement is going on?
As to when it will end I don't think we can predict as nothing quite like this has gone on before.
[edited by: tedster at 2:48 am (utc) on June 1, 2008]
I had a site on a host that was having problems. The error log showed that Googlebot had received some strange error messages. I couldn't work out why and the hosting company was less than useful. Then the site got dropped from the index, completely, and googlebot stopped visiting for obvious reasons.
I moved to a new host, opened a WMT account for the domain and put in a re-inclusion request.
The form this took was.
1. A description of the problem I had identified.
2. What I had done to rectify the problem.
3. A pleasant but not grovelling request for re-inclusion.
Within 10 days I was back in and, having added a sitemap, and some new content I'm now back at #1 for all of the terms I am targetting and a few that I'm not.
IMO, if you are confident that you have identified the problem and have completely fixed it and after a period of time nothing happens, then, at least for me it was worth taking the plunge.
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[edited by: tedster at 5:44 am (utc) on July 1, 2008]