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Win $250 if You Help Us Solve Our Google Problem!

Hello, loyal readers! The friendly people at 60 Second Marketer have run into a nut that we just can’t crack, and we were hoping that you could help us out.

We were studying some of the information in our Google Webmaster tools, and we came across this chart:

As you can see, our web traffic seems to be capped by Google for some reason. We’ve tried just about everything we can think of, to no avail.

That’s where you come in.

The 60 Second Marketer is offering $250 plus an autographed copy of Jamie’s newest book to the mastermind who can come up with a fix for us. It may be an obscure setting, or it may be an SEO problem — we just don’t know. Fill out our form to submit your suggestions, and the prize will go to the first one to submit an idea that does the job.

We hope you guys can help us figure this out. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to trying your suggestions!


Click here to submit your suggestions!

About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

  • Al

    The chart makes no sense–maybe the flaw is in the chart and how it is structured. I say that because the bottom of the trough in the blue line also stops at (call it) 2800 or so; if there is a cap, wouldn’t it be a “not-to-exceed” number, same every day. Because otherwise, the cap moves around, which makes no sense. The legend says “10,000 impressions” but is that a cumulative number, same comment re: 8000 clicks. Doesn’t seem to tie to the lines, unless the chart was posted without the x and y labels that maybe you can see… I think you need more info about what the chart is attempting to show.

    • Hi Al — Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It looks like the chart has some quirkiness, indeed. I’ve sent it to a friend at Google and several SEO experts and they’re struggling with it, too. (More accurately, the Google friend said she didn’t know what it meant, but that that wasn’t hear area of expertise. And the SEO guys said that they’d seen something like it before with other clients and were trying to solve the puzzle for them, too.)

      Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.

      — Jamie

  • Mike Ohlstein

    It’s the Devils Tower issue.

  • treb072410

    I would really love to help but unfortunately I really don’t know how.. Jamie, can you post the winner and the solution to the problem.. c”,) I might come across to the same problem in the future.. Thanks!

    • Sounds great, Treb. Stay tuned. We’ll share the solution and the winner when we get this all worked out!

  • Martin Stanchly

    I just think that the graph of google webmaster tools is not really worth the fuzz since it is inaccurate. Would love to see your Analytics data for more info if there is really a problem or not.

    I think it shows only the visitors of organic search and the thing is that the scale is fixed in steps of 500 may give the impression that it is capped. But i really think it is not. Put some more effort in SEO and organic search optimisation and you may get a rise in visitors. That being said…it is not an easy task and may take a while.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Martin. Our traffic has been capped like this for more than a year, despite vigorous SEO efforts (both from a content point-of-view and from an SEO technology point-of-view).

      Long story short — there’s something amiss here and I can’t figure out what it is.


  • Tim

    I don’t have a direct solution for you, but I believe that I have an explanation. For Webmaster Tools, Google defines Impressions as: The number of times pages from your site appeared in search results, and the percentage increase/decrease in the daily average impressions compared to the previous period. (These numbers can be rounded, and may not be exact.) Emphasis is mine
    Ultimately, I think you are running up against their rounding algorithms.

    • Thanks for your thoughts on this, Tim. It could be rounding algorithms, but it seems like they simply put a cap on the number of times the site appears in search results. So, even if it’s 4,450 one day and 4,600 the next (but still indicated as 4,500), they’re capping the number of impressions at about 4,500.

      It’s drivin’ me crazy, man!


  • The graph only looks that way because of rounding.

    If you look at a Google Analytics chart showing normal visits to your site, you’ll probably see dips in the chart at every Saturday/Sunday, then fairly steady traffic during the week. It will resemble the Search Queries chart.

    Take a look at this set of charts:


    This is a site that gets roughly 70% of visits from search engine results pages. Notice the top Google Analytics chart, showing visits to the site. The second chart is our Search Queries during the same time period with the familiar flat lines. The last chart is the two overlaid on each other. Notice how they match?

    If your weekly traffic is steady, your Search Queries chart will APPEAR to have a limit or cap on the chart, but it’s really just looks that way because of how the numbers get rounded.

    Jamie, I manage another site (that I can’t share) that has a chart that looks just like yours, where it appears we’ve hit a limit, and it’s been steady like that forever. But when I compare that chart to the visitors chart in Google Analytics, it’s a near perfect match.

    So it all comes down to rounding. Google states that in their help:

    “These numbers can be rounded, and may not be exact.”

    Here’s more from Google’s help pages:


    • Wow. Fascinating. I think you may have hit on things exactly — that this isn’t a cap as much as it is the appearance of a cap because of the rounding errors.

      Interestingly, Tim mentioned the same issue in the comment below, but I wasn’t entirely convinced at the time. But now that I have two members of our community saying the same thing it makes more sense. Plus — and I have to thank you for this — the charts you provided speak volumes.

      I’m going to share this with my team to get their input, but you’ve been very helpful indeed. Thanks!

      • I thought those charts would be helpful. A picture’s worth a thousand words! 🙂

        Most of the sites I manage have charts that look similar to yours, especially when traffic is consistent throughout the week. Larger sites that fluctuate in traffic don’t usually appear so flat-topped like that. Some sites have more inbound traffic from search than others, so that will influence the charts, too.

        If you haven’t done so already, make sure you have Site Search configured in Google Analytics so you get stats from searches taking place on your own site.

  • Jamie, has anyone won the prize yet? I’m hoping to get that autographed copy of your newest book. And the $250 would be nice, too. 🙂

    • Ty —

      Great to hear from you. Thanks for your follow-up. I had to go back through my records to double check the feedback (some of it came via email in addition to these comments).

      We’ve reviewed our records and it looks like you were the first one to arrive at this conclusion, so congratulations — you won the $250 and the autographed copy of the book.


      Just reach out to me via email and we’ll get your address. You can reach me via the contact page on this site (it goes to Friendly People, but I receive it).

      Congratulations. What a great way to start the new year!