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[edited by: tedster at 3:28 am (utc) on Mar 2, 2012]
Here's another interesting thing to try if your site has disappeared from the search results: if you have your results set to 10 per page, change the settings to 100 per page, then run the search again. In my case, the site that had "disappeared" from the results when showing 10 per page reappears in the same place it originally was, and remains there when I switch the results back to 10 per page. (Even when I am signed out of G with history turned off and cookies cleared...but using same ISP though.)
Another theory i am now investigating is that maybe the exponential increase in mobile device usage has something to do with with this dead beat zombie traffic.
Mobile devices convert badly, it is a known fact. Maybe the reason i am seeing more sales over the weekend and late at night is because more people have the time to seat in front of their good old pcs at home on weekends?... will definitely look into this further in upcoming weeks.
Can anyone suggest a rational explanation/mechanism by which this is happening?
Folks, your orders (conversions) over a short time period don't really help anyone understand Google Updates and SERP Changes - not even you ;)
If you occasionally see a long term pattern about conversions and can definitively track it back to the SERPs, then yes - please share. But otherwise, I would rather not see hour-by-hour sales reports, especially when they don't change.
I have over a decade of benchmark data and I know when I am receiving garbage traffic. These days I am seeing periods of hours of low converting traffic followed by periods of hours of very high converting traffic. There are many of us that have been experiencing this phenomena