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Earlier this month our site jumped up in rankings quite considerably across a couple of hundred pages (around 500 pages on the site) and across some pretty hefty keyphrases (millions of searches per month) yet we have not seen a traffic increase.
I mean, we've gone from numbers like #53 and #162 to #2 and #11 - surely you see an increase in traffic from that type of jump across hundreds of pages and millions of searchers?
To confirm: the ranking jumps I'm seeing occur when I'm logged into my Google account AND when I'm logged out AND when I use someone else's computer in the next town.
are you getting referals on the same keyword phrases
No, now some of the major phrases (I wish I could post them here so you could see just how major they are!) that never showed up in my logs before are now showing as being some of the highest traffic referrers ... whilst the original lesser competitive and sometimes 'long-tail' keywords are still showing too.
So I'm now getting traffic from hundreds more great keyphrases -- but the total traffic at the end of the day is the same as it has been for the past three months.
Does your good ranking die after a certain number of referals? I'm assuming you have depressed rankings elsewhere that you havent noticed yet, do these return to 'historic' positions as the others swap back?
My gut reaction is that Google likes your site, and you're about to get a trust and/or authority upgrade to push you up the competitive listings. You are being 'tested'. So as not to give you a boost before potentially taking it away again, they are depressing referals from your mid-to-long tail so trafic remains constant. Depending on your test results (no speculation as to what/how they are testing), you get the upgrade and your 'lost' trafic comes back too.
Does this sound completely off-the-wall to people? I'm thinking it might be another aspect of the yo-yo?
in November i started a similar thread.
Itīs day in day out the same amout of traffic from google.
#1 if widget1 is up widget2 is down
#2 if widget2 is up widget1 is down
#3 i made several changes in internal linking - no effect
#4 i made some changes in incoming links from other pages - no effect
#5 i updated my sitestructure and added some h3 tags - no effect
#6 new content is crawled and index by google after 2 days
it looks like my page sticks on some forgotten google place where updating, links and changes are some not noticeable factors.
So i will not complain, cause the daily amount is quiet high enough for me, but i am wondering every single day.
We have been #1 or 2 for what we thought is the best possible search term for our business, it's a very generic term in our sector and you would think that it would bring in thousands of visitors a day when in fact it brings in around 200 and the conversion rate is awful.
Well, I think you're seeing what we have seen for many years.
I'm not reporting that I got a few good rankings for some keywords and it wasn't all I'd hoped.
I'm saying that 200+ pages just dramatically jumped up in rankings to excellent positions and the traffic remains stagnant - not just a little up or just a little down, but like nothing has changed at all.
whilst the original lesser competitive and sometimes 'long-tail' keywords are still showing too.
You must be losing trafic from somewhere. Have you identified where?
A jump from #150 to #2 will not necessarily bring in that much more traffic for kw phrases that are not what people care about.
Again, I'm not talking about jumps in ranking on phrases like "names for my pet cat that being with J" -- I'm talking about commercial keyphrases with millions and millions (7 million searches per month for the main keyphrase alone!) of searches per month, people searching for green, blue or pink widgets and my green, blue and pink widget sales pages are now ranking high.
I have a strong suspicion that google is "Traffic Throttling". This started about a year ago when we saw a lot of newer sites start appearing in the serps, displacing many of the older, established sites that had dominated the top 10 positions for years.
Google had to figure a way of giving everyone a piece of the pie, without causing too much disruption to the older, respected sites. Some of the newer sites certainly deserved to start getting some decent results on some search terms.
So in my sector, I saw my site (and most of my long stranding competitors) losing position on a number of key terms, with some newer sites coming in on certain terms.
For example, I would find that my search term "red widget" retained it's number 1 or 2 spot, while I sank to page 2 of the results for "blue widget", with my previous top 3 position taken by one of the newcomers in our travel sector.
Around the same time, the number of google referrals into my site became very stable, with very little fluctuation in daily totals.
Previously, there had been some wide variations in the amount of traffic received from google.
They had to figure some way to give decent newer sites some recognition and placings in the serps, and putting a limit on the amount of traffic it sends through to a domain appears to have been a way to achieve this.
thank you for our opinion. The question noew is, how to gain more traffic, while there is a throttle. Is it only installed for some sites or for all sites? If you escape from one traffic throttle, do you get just away to next one?
If we could have more user input about their daily google traffic, maybe we could get the clue out of it?!
how to gain more traffic, while there is a throttle
That's pretty much the same question as asking how to get the throttling removed - which relates to the question of why it would be applied in the first place. Both are unknowns to me, and I haven't got a site that is showing any signs like this.
As I mentioned before, it sounds to me like like there would have to be some kind of ranking yo-yo effect during the day to create traffic throttling. So I'd suggest a close watch of the traffic patterns throughout the day - first to see if there's a specific cutoff time. If there does seem to be a cutoff time, then see what the SERPs look like at that moment. If there isn't, then I'd be very surprised, and begin to doubt that there really is intentional throttling.
This kind of study could be labor intensive - but done even once it might also be illuminating. I've seen yo-yo rankings during the day, but they didn't seem to be tied to clickthroughs from the SERPs. Traffic still showed variations, and was not flatlined.
- Lots more people see your listing
- So, lots more people click through
So, if that doesn't happen, then your site is not being shown to lots more people - thus you don't get the clicks. But the problem is that your visibility hasn't increased, even if you believe it has.
If it's a genuinely popular keyword, and your site is now highly visible, then the only way Google could "throttle" your traffic is by:
- Preventing people from clicking on your listing
- Replacing the traffic you used to get, with new traffic for the popular phrases
These things are easily measurable with even basic analytics and are not a matter of speculation.
The only other feasible alternative I can think of is that Google show your listing based on a click or time threshold. But that also means that your "ranking" have not truly improved at all. At least not for most of the people most of the time. Again, this would be easily identifiable based on analytics data, since you'd see replaced traffic for new and old keyphrases.
Is there something I've failed to understand in the throttling theory?
Doing something like this provides no discernable quality improvement to the SERPS. It makes them no money. And seems like it would be a lot of work to implement.
Seems a California search for widget is getting dramatically different results then a Maine search for the same term.
Here's a test I'd love to see:
Within a defined 24 hour period, the exact same keyword searches would take place from about 6 places within the USA (northwest, southwest, midwest, northeast, mid-Atlantic, southeast) ; from 3 places in Canada (east, central, west); from 3 or 4 places in the UK ; and from 3 or 4 places around Australia.
Those searchers would then compare their results and post them here.
This sort of test is somewhat complicated -- and thus unlikely -- but if it could happen, it might help provide deeper insight into this important Google question.
Our traffic does not go up or down, there is no varience. Our site should do better on weekends becuase of the nature of it. But it does not. Google traffic always remains the same.
Just a thought, would it be possible for google to somehow 'cloak' search results in order to keep your traffic at it's daily limit? Ya I know it's crazy but how else would they do it?