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Google ZOMBIE Traffic Observations

     
1:39 pm on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Mods Note: Split out of the October 2015 Monthly Observation thread into a separate Zombie Traffic Thread
---------------------------------
Sunday morning, usually banging away, but nothing but slow moving Zombie traffic, one or two at a time and sitting on the same pages for several minutes. Switch is currently OFF.
Still in decline. No sign of any seasonal upswing, which is way overdue.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 7:08 pm (utc) on Oct 19, 2015]

8:45 am on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi folks

Is it safe to assume that today Saturday 17th Oct. 2015 is just another Google Zombie Traffic day?

Let's pray together: Dear Google. Please stop sending us your F--king Zombie traffic. Amen :)
1:47 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Why don't you open a new thread for speculation and praying for traffic.
2:08 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about anyone else, but the zombie days are extending even further. Meaning there are now more zombie days then good days in a week. This is ridiculous. On the zombie days Adwords has proven to be a massive waste of money and my Adwords switch needs to switch to the off position when Google turns the zombies on. With more bad days then good, it's clear to me that Google is playing games that I don't want to play or lose a ton of money participating in. It's time to give Adwords an extended vacation and pursue other properties where I can reach buyers without my wallet being emptied by Google with utterly useless traffic.
2:24 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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^ cultivate better back links.
2:45 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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^ Amen.
3:01 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@glakes

I don't know about anyone else, but the zombie days are extending even further. Meaning there are now more zombie days then good days in a week.


Agree. In my previous message (msg#:4772314), I have posted a Google Zombie Traffic forecast showing more Zombie days than good days


Here is a Google Zombie Traffic Forecast for the next 7 days:

Thursday 15th Oct.: Healthy traffic
Friday 16th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Saturday 17th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Sunday 18th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Monday 19th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Tuesday 20th Oct.: Healthy traffic
Wednesday 21st Oct.: Healthy traffic
3:16 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Glakes I have also moved on from Adwords. We are small fry compared to the big vendors, but if enough vendors are seeing the same things we are... well then I predict a very steep fall in the coming years. I think this is a situation where they have gotten too big for their own good and now have to steal from people in order to keep up their "growth" (to keep shareholders happy). They expect greater returns on their investment, but you can't keep squeezing blood from a stone.

They have made it extremely difficult to figure out what is going on as traffic remains the same, rankings mostly unchanged, but the traffic is extremely low quality etc... which makes it hard to build a case that they are intentionally doing it, although it is highly likely (which is obvious, as they've hidden more and more information over the years - not provided keywords for example).
5:58 pm on Oct 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Are you using data to "predict" traffic or a pig's spleen? If you're using a data pool of 0.0000000001 % of the whole, then the spleen is probably your most accurate result. A pair of dice would be less messy though, and equally accurate.
12:27 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Glakes I have also moved on from Adwords. We are small fry compared to the big vendors, but if enough vendors are seeing the same things we are... well then I predict a very steep fall in the coming years. I think this is a situation where they have gotten too big for their own good and now have to steal from people in order to keep up their "growth" (to keep shareholders happy).

@masterjoe

What you say is true. For Google's search profit growth to continue, they must make sure their users are happy and businesses advertising in Adwords are growing too. These zombies that Google is sending are no better than bots and deplete Adwords budgets like someone is running a click bot on our accounts. For whatever it's worth, I've had it with Google - this junk traffic has been going on too long.

Here is a Google Zombie Traffic Forecast for the next 7 days:

Thursday 15th Oct.: Healthy traffic
Friday 16th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Saturday 17th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Sunday 18th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Monday 19th Oct.: Zombie traffic
Tuesday 20th Oct.: Healthy traffic
Wednesday 21st Oct.: Healthy traffic

@reseller

It will be interesting to see how all of our sites compare with your prediction. I'll post back the traffic patterns I see this week. I'm expecting it to get even uglier just as you are. At least this week I won't be paying Google through Adwords to send me zombie traffic.
1:51 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For those who are using Adwords, have you sent any feedback to Google on the sporadic poor performance of their ads?

I restarted adwords as an experiment and got good results the first two or three days, but on busy days, like Sat & Sun, conversion disappeared while clicks soared, Funny thing is, I sat on GA all day watching for a "paid" sources to come through and saw nothing, yet they charged me for dozens of clicks.

Rather than just selling us "fresh Wyoming air" for $1.50 or more a click, Adwords should have a conversion guarantee since we KNOW they can qualify these leads. I digress, back on topic.
3:24 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For those who are using Adwords, have you sent any feedback to Google on the sporadic poor performance of their ads?

No feedback, but pausing all campaigns should send a strong signal to Google that their paid traffic sucks as bad as their organic traffic does on most days of the week. While Google remains in zombie traffic mode, I'm spending the money I would have wasted with Google elsewhere and it's working out ok (a positive ROI -vs- a negative ROI with Google Adwords with zombies). If/when Google adds a little common sense to their algo, that better matches searchers to ecommerce websites, I'll resume my campaigns.
4:23 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@glakes, @samwest I've been in a conversation with Google (paid) about this for around 2 weeks. They deny anything weird is happening (despite me passing them evidence of highly suspicious traffic), keep reassuring me that everything is 'ok' and suggest I optimise the bids. We're about to start some detailed traffic monitoring, so give me a few weeks on this and I'll have more to report.

But, guys, you need to phone the Google adwords helpline and report this rather than just moaning on WebmasterWorld about it. Ask them if anyone else has reported the zombie phenomenon. When they say no, point out there are numerous people on the forums seeing this. Demand an explanation and demand it in email.
4:55 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I agree Simon, it needs to be reported to them. The other thing that I hate is the fact that it's not "real time" preventing you from seeing what happening "now". 3 to 18 hour delay? That's ridiculous. GA is real time, tell me the delay is not a tactic to prevent you from seeing, and acting upon the obvious "trends". I know I'm veering off topic, but my use and mention of AW is only a temporary test to see if Zombie truly permeates AW too. It appears to do just that. I'm going to go visit the AW topic for a while.
5:16 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@samwest, @glakes Is your adwords budget set to spread evenly through the day? Ours is. Because I'm struggling to understand why the same zombie phenomenon is being seen on both organic and paid. My only explanation is that Google is assigning a traffic/budget quota to both, and that quota is being eaten up by junk traffic of some origin.
5:16 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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^ That's just another reason that further proves Googles dishonesty. Just like not provided keywords, they are making it even more difficult to figure out what's happening. If this type of behavior was taken to court, they could easily defend themselves... because nobody would be able to build a substantial enough case against them.
5:55 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully an honest Googler is following what we are posting on this thread about Google Zombie Traffic.

One day a member of WebmasterWorld might start a new thread under title:

Whistleblower exposes Google Zombie Traffic fraud :)
10:11 pm on Oct 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Simon It could also be that Google is giving "qualified" buyers to the highest bidders. The rest get "less than qualified" or "fresh air" visits. Presumably some people up their bids on weekends which WHERE historically busier and better buying days. Whatever way, it seems there is some definite PPC sorting going on.
12:37 am on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Folks, Webmaster World does have an AdWords forum:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Why not post your AdWords complaints there? That forum could use the traffic.
12:54 am on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy Because we're seeing exactly the same zombie patterns in organic and adwords so I think we need to keep the discussion together to understand what's happening. Although to keep the post count down, it would be appreciated if we could focus on identifying what we have in common.
1:31 am on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't adwords and organic zombie traffic indicate mass bot behavior? To automate surfing and clicking would be fairly easy to simulate. If you are about to enter a field or are just faking user behavior for your own properties a click bot is a essential thing these days I suspect. Since google its believed look at "reaction" to search results I'm sure some people use click bots to fake this. Recent studies have found massive click bot activity in advertising especially but I do believe this is also used to fake user behavior. Are people seeing the results of massive automated bot campaigns aimed at user metric manipulation?
3:13 am on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Why not post your AdWords complaints there? That forum could use the traffic.

As others have said, though I will reaffirm, the same crap traffic Google is sending to organics is impacting Google paid traffic - making it a huge wallet buster.

If the Adwords forum needs traffic, I'm sure Google could spare some of the zombies they are sending my way and divert it to the Adwords forum.

Wouldn't adwords and organic zombie traffic indicate mass bot behavior?

@seoskunk

Yes, the traffic quality and user interaction does resemble bots. But Google has historically done a good job at excluding bot traffic from depleting our Adwords budgets. Which makes me think it is Google running the click bot. If Google is not running the click bot, then someone is really devaluing their main source of revenue and that should cause someone inside Google to take note and do something. The ROI in Adwords is so far in the negative on zombie days that Adwords is essentially just as useless as their organics. But at least with organics we are not paying to receive crap traffic.
9:06 am on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Some of the posts here are becoming extremely toxic and are oozing bitterness through and through. Far be it from me to ask anyone not to post in a public forum, but I would personally really appreciate it if the negativity could be dialed down from a 10/10 scale down to maybe 5/10 (even if it means faking how you feel, for the sake of other readers at least). Thank you.
10:41 am on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@hasek747 I couldn't agree more. I'm new on this forum, but it seems like every question I ask about what we have in common is met with Google-bashing rather than an answer, making it impossible to diagnose what is happening.

@glakes I don't believe Google is (intentionally) generating any bot or bad traffic. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the response to a lower value-per-click in adwords is to lower the bid or drop the campaign. Hence Google loses money. And high organic traffic but low conversion rate will result in site owners optimising their site, not investing in adwords. Hence Google loses money. Far better for Google to simply minimise organic traffic volume if they want investment in adwords.

@samwest I don't know how Google can realistically identify a 'qualified buyer'. But I do think it gives a confidence score to how well it thinks it's matched results to the query (there are Google patents about this) and, similar to what you're saying, it may very well be listing sites with a low quality score against searches with a low confidence score and vice versa. Or rather switching sites in and out based on some kind of quality quota.

The other option is indeed that this whole thing is down to bots or similar attacking through Google. BUT that wouldn't explain this by itself because you'd expect that to sit on top of existing traffic, not instead of it. So Google must be somehow (wrongly) counting the bot traffic as part of the site's quota, both on adwords and organic, resulting in this on/off zombie effect which hasn't been seen in the past.

QUESTION: Can you guys please check your Google organic traffic in Analytics on 'zombie' vs 'non-zombie' days and compare with your Search Analytics in Google Search Console. (Don't forget to add the traffic for all search types in GSC). Do you see similar numbers in GA vs GSC or do you see big differences? We see GA showing much larger numbers.
12:15 pm on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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ZOMBIE TRAFFIC! AHHH. LMAO.

What. A. Joke.
12:30 pm on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I would have thought that since there seems to be several experiencing "Zombie" stuff that it would be a good idea to create a dedicated thread to it rather than mixing it up with the regular monthly observations.

At least it would them make a good reference point for anyone else wishing to join in with their thoughts.
2:09 pm on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Simon_H - Read Eric Schmidt's own words about the "Creepy" line...with your permission, they have all they need to know everything about you, buying habits included. [blogs.telegraph.co.uk...] - this is old news.
4:27 pm on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I would have thought that since there seems to be several experiencing "Zombie" stuff that it would be a good idea to create a dedicated thread to it rather than mixing it up with the regular monthly observations.

A good idea. There's enough of us here experiencing the zombie effect to warrant a dedicated thread so that those who are uninterested, skeptical and want to poke fun at the name zombie traffic (have a better name then please share it) can focus on ordinary SEO issues.
4:40 pm on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Non-ecommerce site here, SERPs for my most impacted site have actually improved a bit in the past two weeks but converting traffic is DEAD. I watched some zombie traffic first hand yesterday that I can prove was not human as it was crossing over very distinct personal "genres" inside of this site. Unless this person was surfing with someone of the opposite sex with them, looking at personal issues and procedures that cross sex, illnesses and financing, this was most certainly a bot.
4:56 pm on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Traffic from AdWords is also like putting money into a toilet. I have paused all AdWords campaigns.
7:43 pm on Oct 19, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@aakk9999

Thanks for splitting out the Google Zombie Traffic posts of the October 2015 Monthly Observation thread into the current thread. Much apprerciated.
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