‘Google Farts’ – Unexplained drops and subsequent rises in search traffic

Judy's Book,Search,SEO by on June 1, 2007 at 8:26 am

Yes, even Google has indigestion.

The graph below is a disconcerting sight to any website (this is from our deals subdomain). Organic search traffic from Google plummeted on Friday, and was down 90% on Saturday and Sunday. By Tuesday everything was normal. We had changed nothing. Throughout this ‘fart’, organic traffic to our www domain was unchanged.


My thought on Friday was that Google Analytics was having one of its all to frequent data update delays. I was out this weekend, and fortunately didn’t check the stats (If I had, I’d have spent most of the weekend trying to find a non-existent problem). On Tuesday when I got in, I shifted into troubleshooting mode. SEO troubleshooting small sites is difficult, but troubleshooting large sites can be very time consuming.

By midday Tuesday, the data looked normal so I stopped digging. I only burned a few hours on this non-existent problem, but could have easily burned a lot more (for example if the problem persisted for another day or two).

I can’t help but feel (wish?) that at some point Google will be held liable for crap like this.


  1. Marcelo Calbucci — June 1, 2007 @ 11:49 am

    We had a similar issue in February. On our case, our PageRank went from 4 to zero. My immediate assumption was that Google was adding http://www.sampa.com into some blacklist. It took us two weeks to get back to normal, after we contacted them.

    PS: It’s near impossible get get passed this CAPTCHA. Argh!

  2. Willis Reid — June 1, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

    Maybe everyone was, like you, just enjoying their Memorial Day weekend and staying away from their computer ;)

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