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January 26 2011 Change - Back to "Zombie Traffic"

     
2:05 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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As of January 1st traffic has been back to normal level and above. No hint of throttling whatsoever, great sales conversions almost surpassing pre May Day levels. Our usual 8,500 monthly keyphrase report has jumped to 11,500 keywords & phrases. In a nutshell, the first 26 days of January were GREAT!
This is, until yesterday at exactly 3:30pm CST. It's as if the switch was turned off again. Haven't touched the site design other than updating some copyright dates for 2011.
Now we are back to zombie foreign traffic & foreign sales, all South Africa and Canada so far today.
Haven't seen a foreign sale since last year. NOW WHAT is GOOGLE UP TO?

I see the new spammy / content farm algo topic. Looks like they may be throw switches willy nilly again.
Anyone else noticing this sudden upset in traffic?
8:33 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Oh joy. This morning sees people from Canada, India & Philippines (at least countries I've heard of so a slight improvment, sarcastic mode off!) adding stuff to a cart on a UK site that sells products for UK use ONLY and only ships to the UK. I may as well take the day off as I know 100% when I see what I have just seen we will be DEAD. One other point, just prior to this all kicking off the email notifications from our product feeds stopped coming through, then when sales took a hit they started coming through slowly, almost like G had too much data to process, emails that should have come through on the 1st came through 5 days later....

Final point, also just as this happened our cart showed items added by G bot! This has NEVER happened before.
8:44 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Items added by Gbot


or probably people masking as G bot...are you using a reverse ip to confirm it is G bot?
8:45 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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OT, anyone else unable to access Pay Pal? Seems the while UK site is down as are the payment options. We use Pro and Express, if those are all down we only have Google Checkout to fall back, oh the irony. It never rains...........
8:57 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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/\ Not sure, i would guess so as it was flagged to the developer. Could you see if you can access Pay Pal for me please?https://www.paypal.com/uk
9:06 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Tried... Can't.
Get a reset connection.
9:13 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks. I guess that is the cherry on the cake for this week!
9:41 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I confirm what TheMadScientist saw.

But I did this to get into paypal UK.I went to paypal.com and then manually chose the country as UK from the top right.It went through! I didn't sign in though and not even sure whether you could do so...
9:49 am on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It is now back up, this from DevX.....

RESOLVED: This issue has been resolved as of Feb 18, 1:23 AM PST (Feb 18, 9:23 AM GMT).
Sent Feb 18, 1:32 AM PST by VB


UPDATE 1: We are continuing to work towards resolution of this issue and will provide the next update by Feb 18, 2:00 AM PST (Feb 18, 10:00 AM GMT)

Sent Feb 18, 1:20 AM PST by VB


NOTIFICATION: Payments via API and www.paypal.com are unavailable for most customers.
Sent Feb 18, 12:32 AM PST by VB


Start time: Feb 18, 12:11 AM PST (Feb 18, 8:11 AM GMT)
10:05 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A real G bot or a fake one? The latter seems prevalent lately, coming from all over.

I do not understand why your site's mail is delayed. Do you feed orders through google/gmail?
8:17 am on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The IP was a G Bot when I checked, the developer also said it was G Bot. No, our sites mail is not delayed, the notification email from G stating the product feed status is delayed (our feeds update daily at midnight).
11:08 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ah. Thanks for the clarification.
1:48 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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How are you all doing this week? I am finding it much more normal this week so far. Steady, no big gaps, work converting like it used to. Not like it has been. Am I just having a lucky week or are any of you seeing similar? Traffic too is much more normal for the time of year.
2:04 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Much the same as last week. Dire sales, traffic looking normal on face of it until you dig deeper & finds loads of junk traffic from India & Ukrain!
2:13 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Jez123 - yes, it has been stabilizing over the past few days, but I'm hesitant about getting too excited. Traffic is up considerably, but conversions are still less than the past two years. I could attribute that simply to the economy, but my niche relies on a slow economy, so it doesn't quite click.
I have noticed a HUGE jump is key phrases. About a week ago I checked at it was around 5,000 so far for the month. Today I checked again and it doubled to over 10,000. It appears long tail might be back, but it's probably a glitch. In AWSTASTS my Search Keyphrases for "Other phrases" shows 29,655!
I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
How's that for guarded pessimism?

@ohno - have you done any type of site tweaks? We have always been on the same page, but it seems like you are now seeing different results. I deleted a lot of old blog posts, cleaned up meta tags and did some other site tweaks. Not sure if that helped or not...we'll see.
2:28 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The only tweak we did was upgrade the forums...which went pear shaped in BIG way. All the URL's changed but these only offer guides & info in relation to products we sell. We still seem to rank well in the SERPS from checks i have done so it's like last time this happened. When i see the foreign junk disappear and it is still like this then i will worry. Right now i'm sitting back & updating pages...
2:34 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it's definitely early to start popping corks - especially as I have seen this twice since September now!

Considering that my main SERP has dropped from 1st to 3rd to 7th and traffic and conversions are up I have to speculate that longtail is back for me to atm.

Economy MUST have a part in this too so it is difficult to gauge anything.

Changes I have made have probably not had any part yet. I removed some footer links from 2 semi related blog shops that I own that have affiliate content on them. Don't know if they will make any difference - unnatural linking between my own sites is not as major sin as mirror sites linking from every page in my eyes - but I am not google!
3:46 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Looking at past few years my weekly traffic pattern was the same, with Monday being the Biggest then slowly declining towards the end.

Now, past 2-3 weeks it seems it has switched to Tuesday, i don't know if that is significant.

Has any body else notices any new patterns in their traffic?
3:50 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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/\ Yep, we had MASSIVE spikes on the last two Tuesdays. Today has been dead all day yet traffic levels are looking normal. However it's all single page views but at least UK traffic!
4:31 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Borik - yes, seeing pretty much the same shift. It doesn't look natural though. My slow day used to be Friday, now the middle of the week can just turn off. Also seems like there is a ceiling for converting sales. Last week I had five consecutive days of identical sales. It's been +/- 1 the rest of the time.
Still appears something is happening to throttle traffic, either intentionally or as a side effect of all the recent changes.
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