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[edited by: tedster at 12:41 pm (utc) on May 1, 2013]
im hoping for a May Day holiday reason however stats over the years on may day do not corroborate this.
...every time I've done them in the past it made extremely little difference whether I used st or state.
It's off about 10% a day since, but it's not only Google, it's across the board and it's not "normal peaks and valleys", it'll be down 20% then spike at an odd time for a couple hours and then drop off again, and again, it's not only Google referrals that have been totally odd in the pattern of "below average" then "random spike" since. It's all of the big three and I seriously doubt they're all just happening to change something that causes the site to rank better or worse in unison, so for at least one niche it looks like there's some difference in search patterns/behavior of searchers since the Boston events.
I think the way people search, surf and find new stuff is changing in general
It seems like google takes amazon result pages to pimp up the query and match all following results to fit the amazon result. No other brands following the next 2-3 result pages!Google and Amazon are members of a Washington D.C. lobbying group called "The Internet Association." Although they claim to be the voice of the internet economy, participation is limited to many of the same big companies that dominate the serps (Facebook, eBay, etc.). I've always had concerns of how this group, which collectively controls the majority of online traffic, would squeeze small businesses out of the competition to earn sales from consumers.