Does anyone know of an update/refresh that happened over this past weekend - early this week while Sandy was trashing NY and NJ? I bring Sandy up because with some 7M customers (say, at least 15-20 M users?) without power it would be a good time to implement updates and such while traffic was light.
Anyhow, I don't use real-time stats but I do compile them on demand using the Vistors software and, comparing stats for 10/27 and 10/31, I can see that almost all of the keywords that bring my Google traffic have changed. The strange thing is that the total amount of traffic from Google is almost the same (adjusted for those several million people still without power here in the NE).
This is a large forum covering a great number of topics (was not built targeting any particular keywords) and I've seen the same set of top keywords bring the most traffic since 2010 - first I started collecting these stats. These "top" keywords were by no means "trophy" - say, only 50-100 visits a month would make them easily stand above the rest. Most KWs are and have always been very long tail and bring 3-10 UVs per month, if even that.
So, I loaded my stats for today and I can see NONE of those top keywords bring any traffic. Judging by the unchanged amount of Google traffic, they have all been replaced by larger amount of different long tails.
Another thing has happened (though I'm not sure it it's essential) when I check the SERPs, almost without exception, Google "forgot" that my site is a forum. The "12 posts - 5 authors - Mar 20, 2008" line is gone from my site's listings (but not from others on the same SERP)
I have to add that there were no significant structural changes on the site since May (one section added) and the content was being added at the normal pace (except for the last couple of days of course)
Does anyone have an idea about what these flips in the set of the KWs signify? I guess, my major concern is whether it's an indication of some issue with the site.