I wrote this post last night out of shear frustration with tedster for once again jumping in attempting to suppress negative google sentiment. But at the last moment before clicking submit I was second guessing myself and decided to sleep on it. Well, I see this morning others are feeling the same way so here's what I was going to post...
To say that "Google is trying to sell more Adwords" or "get the purchasing traffic for itself" is not an analysis.
It's not an analysis but without bringing it (the motive) to the table then there is nothing to analyze. It's simple cause and effect. They are a for-profit company. Any changes in algorithm is with the motive to increase profits. Don't believe them when they say they aren't watching ad revenues, that's absolute nonsense.
When a crime is committed investigators typically cannot complete their investigation (analysis) without looking for a motive. How is that so much different from us looking for the money trail to determine motive for algo changes?
As an example...when I see local results of many highly qualified local businesses being pushed to page 2 or further (not just my sites) and the first page being littered with a cesspool of domain crowding by yellowpages type directories I have to ask myself why is that happening? Why are they willing to risk losing credibility as a good source of info? Then I can start my risk reward analysis based on knowing that whatever change is taking place has a financial motive. They will risk short spans of alienating their users for the reward of businesses buying more adwords. It's plausible enough for me so I put it forward in my posts.
What I'm thinking is they are taking a gamble that they can afford because of their monopoly. They appear to be squeezing small businesses for a while at a time to find out if they can force them into adwords. Then after a while they open the traffic valve again. Rinse and repeat.
So absolutely YES, realizing that they are trying to force more into adwords is a VERY credible observation. If you think it isn't then you are free to jump in and counter those observations by giving a counter-balanced opinion about why that can't be rather than just saying stop it?!
Yet I see far more members willing to offer strong arguments that support some of our observations than I see members willing to say it can't be that because...why?
So here's something to chew on as it relates to zombie traffic. They can surely differentiate between a mobile user versus a desktop user. I'm sure that they also know that most mobile users are most of the time performing search as a secondary action and that their reason for being mobile is because they have something more important that they are doing. They are not in buy mode.
Based on that it's not unthinkable that they can siphon desktop traffic more likely to convert and feed them the appropriate ads in SERPs at the right time and send non-converting mobile traffic to the businesses that they pushed to deeper pages by displaying them higher in SERPs for those types of queries from mobile users.
Another possibility is they can send potentially converting traffic from NYC to LA websites and vice-versa again for the purpose of making the ads more attractive.
There are many ways for them to throttle traffic for their benefit and for the benefit of the advertisers. I'm not saying they don't have the right to do so. I'm just saying it is not absurd to think they aren't doing something like that. Cloaking their nefarious intentions like that certainly can keep them below the FTC's radar can't it? This behaviour we are trying to dissect is unique to google so it is not related to crowd behaviour.
Only a few members may be experiencing this but maybe that's because they are unfortunate to be a test group. If it works out well it may become the new normal.
I barely care anymore and can hardly muster up the effort to discuss it. People protecting them and saying we cannot suggest financial motives certainly doesn't help the matter. That wears me out more then google themselves.
In defense of tedster I am aware that as an Administrator of WW you may sometimes have to moderate comments based on the wishes of the forum ownership. Tedster this is not a personal grudge, that's not the way I function. But I'm in agreement with others here about throwing in the towel. For you to throw the knowledge graph comment into this fray, it was not lost on me that was in reference to my flaming comments about it in another thread. That's why I am jumping in and responding here.
I'm outta here effective the end of today and will not attempt to participate again until January, if I still have an account to sign into. But I'll stop short of saying Adieu. I'm not being melodramatic, I'm just tired.