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Traffic throttling

Do any of you think this may be going on?

     
11:22 am on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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My site doesn't appear to have been hit by Panda, but my traffic is definitely down. I thought perhaps this had to do with shifts in my user base to sites like Facebook, but no real evidence to support that. Yesterday I came across a thread on the Google section here where Robert Charlton mentioned "traffic throttling." That's something I hadn't considered at all. There's a long thread on it here:
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2:33 pm on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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When I look at webmaster tools and dig into various keyword phrases I see that their positions often have a broad range with 1 or 2 positions with most impressions. My theory is that Google shows a site at varying positions in the search results in order to take some measurements. The likely goal is to show optimum click-thru results for search users.

So, perhaps the apparent throttling occurs when suddenly g shows you at position #5 when you had been at postion #3 for some period of time.

Play_Bach, how can you say you haven't been hit when your traffic is down?

After extensive review I've been Panda-throttled on average about 6 positions in the serps.
2:39 pm on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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> Play_Bach, how can you say you haven't been hit when your traffic is down?

As far as I can tell, my main keywords are still putting my site at #1. So in terms of position, things are as they were pre-Panda. However, in terms of traffic only about 10% of my pages on any given day seem to be called, even though 100% of them are indexed. Can't say for sure I haven't been Pandalized, but from what little I know of it, it doesn't appear so.
4:18 pm on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think you should dog deeper into your traffic stats rather than search position to find exactly what traffic was lost before getting into things like traffic throttling. Is the traffic loss across the board? Are your main keyword phrases pulling the same traffic as before? Is the loss in secondary or long-tail terms?
4:20 pm on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I've heard of it, and read everything I could find. But never seen it, not on my sites nor on any of my clients.
 

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