Solve the "Over-night Lost Traffis" puzzle

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  1. GA Anderson profile image90
    GA Andersonposted 11 years ago

    I know I'm starting another lost traffic thread, (geesh, enough already), but...

    Here's why.
    As it has been noted, HP has suffered, site-wide - all of us - even the touted success stories, traffic loss due to Google's year-long algo changes. That's the BIG problem that is almost only solvable by HP.

    But that gradual, although sometimes severe loss, can seemingly be attributed to recognized Google changes.

    The puzzle is why have some hubber accounts been completely slammed, while others have not. As illustrated by myself, and other some hubbers that have commented to that effect.

    These cases don't seem attributable to the same changes that have caused HP's general site-wide decrease.

    So why the slam. Logically speaking - it seems like it almost has to be related to HP changes. NOT hubber account content - (within reason of course)

    My "GA Anderson" account content did not drastically change character over-night.
    It is not spammy, thin, link-loaded or key-word stuffed.
    It is on various topics, but heavy on politics as an account ID
    It is not the type of content to attract spammy in-bound links
    It DID have several Zzz'd hubs - they were not bad content - just not highly searched topics
    ...but, they have been Zzz'd for weeks now - I'm sure I have been crawled since they were Zzz'd, so sort of ruling that out

    in other words, there is nothing about it that would violate some golden Google rule  - yet, overnight, on 9/27 or 28 - it took a 90% traffic nosedive. (and has stayed there) Even my hot performers, (with little competition) have disappeared from the serps

    I'm not stating that as a complaint - it's the same story most of the other "lost traffic" commenters have related. Just giving the details so we can compare notes.

    I'm not indicting HP for malfeasance - but it sure feels like the circumstances point to a site change - not an algo change. Too many hubbers have commented on recent (7 - 10 days) drastic drops.

    Come on experienced hubbers;
    Richard, Olie, Sunforged, Relache, Mark, and dozens of others. You know who you are. A MAJOR drop like this should be traceable.  Much easier to pinpoint than a gradual algo-change slap or decrease. Let's solve the puzzle. Find the common denominators.

    new profile format? (what about hubbers that were early adopters?)
    new Q&A and Forum apps?
    Idled hubs? (I don't think it is this)
    decreased profile links from hub contents?

    Or, what big format changes did HP make in the last week or two that we don't know about?

    To all hubbers; If you had a more than 75% drop in the last 10 days - how about a few account details, (like GA's above),


    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not one of the big names, but can offer some data.

      Traffic rising, and has been for months at a slow rate.  That rate has increased the last week or so.

      A fairly early profile changer, I did not wait to be forced.

      Almost no Q&A.

      Only 2 idled hubs so far, both quickly fixed.

      Had few links from hubs to profile, but did have a dozen or so from profile to hubs (don't know which you refer to).

      Never had outgoing links in profile.

      1. GA Anderson profile image90
        GA Andersonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Wilderness - it's hard to recognize you with a "real" profile picture now  -- as for the big names... you were one of the "dozens of others"

        Thanks for the data - hopefully it will accumulate from different sources and with different results (such as yours) and we might get lucky and discover something.

        My point was based on my GA account and experience - I am certain that there was nothing that warranted a Google slap in the content or format - so... what is it?

        Just a thought, but my old profile DID have several outgoing links - both to hubs and my sites, hmmm, a sudden loss of links?

        It's not supported by any data, but the recent profile format change is the only thing I can think of. If the bots crawl HP every few days - it at least fits the timeline. Of course, as mentioned, there may have been other internal HP changes we are unaware of.


        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, I was finally convinced to get rid of that cute little grandson of mine.  Doesn't fit well with a handyman image.

          I doubt that the loss of links in the profile going to hubs made any difference.  Loss of profile links going to "authority" sites might, but I would expect there to be very few of those.  Why link your profile to NBC or Wikipedia?

          Wasn't there an algorithm update late last week?  That could do something.  I can't see sleeping hubs doing any harm, except that there won't be as many pages on site now.  Probably helped if anything.

          I might add that I don't see HP getting "slammed".  Hurt, yes, but not slammed.  Many individual hubbers, on the other hand, DO seem to be slammed, with a loss of 70,80,90%.  And that would seem to be more of an algorithm thing.  Remember, while panicked hubbers post dozens of threads asking where their traffic went, no one asks why they got an extra 100views a day.  They just keep writing. 

          It's all been extremely confusing to me, as my own history doesn't seem to follow hardly anyone else.  A long, slow decrease starting last Feb and lasting until May, then a long, slow climb since then.  I've written lots more hubs (supposedly "good" ones in the Apprentice program) but the views are growing much faster than can be attributed to them.  That is, unless their mere presence is giving me more "authority" to G and I think it's too soon for that.

          Yesterday was the best day I've seen since Jan, by nearly 20%, and while today is falling some it's still way up for a Tuesday.  I certainly don't have a clue what's happening, and don't think anyone else does either.  Google may (though I wouldn't bet large sums on it) but of course they aren't talking except to say "Make good hubs".

          And that's my strategy for now.  Keep writing as good a hub as I can, along the general guidleines of the "flagship" hubs.  1500 words or so.  Lots of capsules, videos and slide shows to keep a visitor interested, occupied and present.  Lots of keyword and title research and study.  The best proofreading I can manage, and then go back in a month and proof it yet again - get rid of spelling and grammar errors. 

          I'll stop my rambling with a final question/thought.  With the rapidly growing importance and use of social sites (Facebook, google+, pinterest, etc.) how do your older hubs work in the "new" world?  Are they of topics that a Pinterest surfer or someone reading their friend's FB post might be snagged by?  Or topics that a lazy, bored surfer won't waste a second glance on - they provide information that people search for, in other words, but won't click through a random link that comes into sight?

          Are they visually attractive in a link?  Same thinking applies - will what a surfer sees in a link reach out and grab them?  A FB link or Pinterest shows a photo, and that photo, not the words in the link, is what a surfer will see first.  Make it interesting and appealing.  Rouse them from their stupor long enough to read the title and summary, which then have to be good enough to snag them into clicking.

          This is something I've been working on since mid-year, when I found a forum post from Paul E (I think) recommending a great lead in photo, full size at the very top.  And it just could be playing a part in my own rising traffic - who knows?

      2. habee profile image91
        habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Wilderness, is that you?? You don't look anything like a wildebeest! lol

        Sorry to interrupt. Carry on.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yep.  Not a wildebeest, just your neighborhood goblin, come to visit the forums once more. big_smile

          I was finally talked into replacing that little grandson pic that I loved so much (sob) so you're stuck with seeing this one now. 

          All about traffic, habee, and identity.  We'll see if it works.

          How have you been, habee?  I've been so busy lately there wasn't much time for the forums, and I've missed them and you.  Looks like the 'gators haven't caught up with you yet at least. smile

          1. habee profile image91
            habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            LOL. Nope, but our new pound puppy (Basset hound) is worse than a 'gator, I think. Sparky keeps hubby's arms torn up. Bad dog! It's really nice to put a face to the name, Wild Man.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              A basset is beating up on Daddy?  What's next?

              I guess it is nice to have a face to look at.  Makes it more of a person, maybe.  I'll miss seeing the little guy every time I post, though, and still can't scan to my own posts in the forum! smile

              1. peeples profile image94
                peeplesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                This whole time I seriously thought you were a woman, I'm sorry.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  That will teach you to believe the 'net! lol

                  But sorry?  Whatever for?  There's a hubber on HP with a photo that I thought was the wrong sex for a long time.  A shock when I found out different (and NO I won't say which one). big_smile

                  1. peeples profile image94
                    peeplesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Well now I don't feel so bad. At least I'm not the only one!

  2. CASE1WORKER profile image63
    CASE1WORKERposted 11 years ago

    My main account ( this one) was sandboxed about this time last year- losing all google traffic- two months to the date it was ressurrected by google ( I didnt do a thing) and it has survived ever since with moderate traffic. It has some ZZZ's that have been left alone asleep.

    My No2 account was just seeing some traffic.It is Just History and does just that- the articles are I think quite good quality and heavily researched- I was not expecting oodles of traffic but it got hit by google and again no google traffic left on it. It did not have any ZZZ and did not have any links to Amazon on E bay

    Is this under the control of Hubpages?

    I think not ( though with more hope than evidence)

    I just hope it rises again as I know from comments made that readers found the hubs informational

  3. christin53 profile image84
    christin53posted 11 years ago

    I only have one account and I've only been on here 5 months. My hubs were doing fine with my top hubs  the traffic was increasing daily until Saturday when all my traffic virtually disappeared. I've just checked and I've had no traffic today from Google at all the views I'm getting seem to be from within Hubpages and a few from Pinterest and Stumble. I really don't feel like publishing any more hubs until I know what's going on.

  4. paypal-online.web profile image59
    paypal-online.webposted 11 years ago

    Not only do hp get a nose dive but as you must know we website owners have suffered, google has gone very erratic and for the bad

  5. livewithrichard profile image72
    livewithrichardposted 11 years ago

    GA if I had answers I would definitely be sharing them.  I have theories as to why this is happening and the biggest is that one of our overworked and exhausted staff made a big boo boo in coding.  There is no way that my hubs should be lost in the index not after all that I have done to them to make them competitive. 

    Some how there is a noindex or nofollow on the majority of my hubs.  It's crazy.  I do a quoted search of a title and I get nearly the same results on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.... My title shows up as a "related hub" on other hubbers pages and my hub is nowhere to be found except on the social pages I have placed links. 

    If this were just a Google update then why are all 3 of these search engines behaving in the same manner?  This alone tells me that it is an internal issue.  The coding got screwed up in one of the HP tweaks and we are the losers. 

    It's happening to all of us including Wilderness... I checked a couple of his hubs and ran the same kind of search and returned the expected results. 

    One of the staff mentioned that there was a problem with the new Amazon module and the Q&A tab on our profiles... they sense removed the tab and reverted to the old Amazon module... around the same time as the nosedive. 

    I've used the Fetch as Googlebot function on Google Webmaster Tools but you are only allowed to Fetch 50 url's per week and a total of 500.  It's only been a couple days but if the HP has some how blocked our url's from being indexed then no matter what I do, it's a lost cause.

    Like I mentioned, it's not just Google that has lost my content, Bing and Yahoo have lost it as well.  I am so glad that I moved a big chunk of content to my blogs when I did... They are all indexed and getting more traffic than they ever did here. 

    I'm not going to abandon ship, I rather like this community, and even with all of these hiccups I learn what not to do on my own sites....

    1. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I think it's worth posting this in the Technical section so HP staff will see it -this is not a staff-monitored thread.

    2. Skarlet profile image84
      Skarletposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you livewithrichard,
      This makes sense to me and I am definitely going to post more on my blogs too.

    3. Paul Edmondson profile imageSTAFF
      Paul Edmondsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      When I look in google, I see your Hubs. … p;ie=UTF-8

      There was a major algo update last week that we had confirmed by Google at the exact hour we saw lots of Hubbers drop in traffic.

      From what we can tell, there is some indication that it was quality driven, but we don't think google is trying to get it perfect, just directionally right which I think means a lot of babies with the bath water.

      I'm certainly frustrated as I've seen, what I consider good content on a number of sites hurt.  We keep working as hard as we can to help Hubbers succeed.  The message I keep hearing from Google is it's not about on page factors, it's about content.

      We've been working on a rating system of sorts (if you've seen the hopper), we started collecting search visitor ratings, and are working on a more scalable way to get ratings faster. 

      From what I can tell, the more meat the better on Hubs or any site for that matter.  Wilderness is a Hubber that's been doing well and a good one to look at as an example.

      From what I hear, many Hubs can benefit from more meat.  Making sure they are focused and deliver to the reader a great experience.  People like specifics, so I recommend one leading photo (original is best), adding at least 5 capsules with good descriptive subheadings, and continually improving till they catch on.

      1. livewithrichard profile image72
        livewithrichardposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks Paul,  I see them now too... but if you take a look at the screenshot in this thread  from a couple days ago you will see what I was seeing then.  I really appreciate all the hard work you and the staff are doing, as you know it is very frustrating for a lot of us after losing more than 80% of our traffic.  I have taken up some measures that interconnect my content here with a few of my social networks and its getting me direct traffic from those sites...  I created a Branded FB page for my HP content and linked that page to a Twitter account which is linked to my G+ account, which I have claimed authority of my HP profile page which again links to the Branded FB page...  Of course it doesn't matter how well you socially market your hubs if your hubs are crap to start with smile

  6. GA Anderson profile image90
    GA Andersonposted 11 years ago

    Just finished a lengthy reply to Richard but had to "refresh" login before it would submit - damn, lost it all!


    Richard, your thoughts on internal HP coding issues makes sense - at least as a plausible theory.

    I have it stuck in my head that it, in my case,  has to do with the new profile format. No data - just a straw to clutch at

    Even though others voluntarily switched earlier and apparently did not suffer deadly consequences - I'm still stuck on the profile issue

    I did not switch over until HP did it site-wide this past week (I think, not sure exactly when)

    But, my traffic died on 9/28 it did not "dwindle" it DIED. Something happened on 9/27 or 9/28 (again, at least in my case)

    Using cache: on my hubs, using them as listed on the "my account" page - the top three were crawled on 9/29, 9/30, 10/1

    the next 10 or so were all last crawled prior to 9/23

    EDIT: had a thought - just went back and checked the bottom of the list - nope, they were all indexed around the first week of September - wasn't their fault

    EXCEPT my new profile/subdomain which was crawled on 9/27  ?????????

    I'm probably off base with the profile idea, but it is a helluva coincidence.

    There is also the consideration that HP's outage was also early AM on 9/27 and 28 - so there is ls the possibility that some emergency recovery effort screwed up

    or that the Amazon and Q&A code change happened then

    oh, it's a work in progress.


    1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image83
      Marcy Goodfleischposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi, GA - I like the idea of brainstorming here to see if Hubbers can come up with additional theories not yet explored by the site. I'll say up front that Itruly know site staff members are hard at work analyzing the bigger picture, though, and I know they're doing whatever possible.

      My own thought is similar to yours - I wonder if something odd happened when the new profiles were swapped out site-wide. As with you, I did not change mine - although I do like it; I just had not gotten around to doing it. It might be related to the site going down (would seem odd, since sites crash all the time).

      I went through my profile and tried to rewrite anything that had once been a link - unfortunately, you can't tell what text was 'blue' before the change.

      Thanks for posting this - it's truly done in a spirit of collaboration, and only by showing our support will we all ride this out.

    2. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      28 September was a Google Panda update.  If you're Panda'd, you'll see a sudden overnight drop, not a dwindle.  So it sounds like you've been Panda'd, though why I can't imagine.

      1. Greekgeek profile image78
        Greekgeekposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Marisa, where are you getting the news that September 28 was a Panda update?

        The last Panda update was on September 18, and Panda is normally rerun once a month.

        All the official channels (and unofficial) sources I've checked have been discussing the Exact Match Domain Name update as the Google update on September 28, and that has nothing to do with Panda. It should havE nothing to do with Hubpages, as I said above: it's a extremely specific penalty applied to sites whose domain names are attempting to target a particular search query, with only thin and spammy content to satisfy it. I have found no evidence that the exact match domain name penalty is being applied to subdomains, so Hubpages should be immune.

        I wonder if maybe you found old SEO news posts talking about the September 28, 2011 panda update?

        EDIT: whoops, I spoke too soon. Just checked the usual channels again and see a Panda update Thursday, September 27. So of the four possible causes I mentioned in my last post, Hubpages' connection problems on Friday couldn't be causing the Panda penalty, but the other three factors might all devalue Hubpages in Panda's ratings.

        1. Daughter Of Maat profile image96
          Daughter Of Maatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          There was a google algorithm update on the 28th, I don't know if it was penguin or panda, I'm just going off a tweet I read from Matt Cutts.

          If you look at the Quantcast results for hubpages, it verifies that HP lost 28 percent of their traffic overnight on the 28th and it has yet to completely rebound.

  7. GA Anderson profile image90
    GA Andersonposted 11 years ago

    As mentioned by Mary - I too think HP staff is doing everything they can think of. They may not all be the right thing(s) to do - but in the murky universe of Google you don't get step-by-step how-to's

    Still - with my crawl data, as in no crawl at the time of the tragedy except for the profile - I just can't see it being a result of a Google no-no generating a slap. Doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about - logic isn't always relevant.

    But we might get lucky, and maybe even some of these bits of individual anecdotal data might give HP staff a clue too


    1. livewithrichard profile image72
      livewithrichardposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I stand with this being an internal issue.  Too many crawl errors but ALL of mine are for broken URL's or URL's that never existed... they're missing a letter in a word or several words all together.  Plus, I'm just now seeing that there is a problem with the Robots.txt and it is not allowing Google access to crawl my content.

      Removed hubs should not be causing the problem... links that were in your profiles pointing to an external site would not cause this either.  Links coming in will not cause you harm as you have no control over who links to you or from where. 

      HP may be blocking Google from crawling while they work on the bugs and this is the only thing I can think of why there was such a huge dive in traffic.

      1. GA Anderson profile image90
        GA Andersonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Google is still crawling - I had hubs crawled on 9/29, 9/30, 10/1

        Paul E. recently replied that the Panda hit Thursday - and that was what out traffic problem was - but from what I have heard, nothing about my account or hubs relate to the Panda update


        1. Marisa Wright profile image87
          Marisa Wrightposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          If you read the SearchEngineLand article, the EMD (exact match domain) update is separate from Panda 20 (which was on 27 Sept, not 28 Sept as I originally said).  We don't know exactly what Panda 20 was targeting.

        2. livewithrichard profile image72
          livewithrichardposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Could be but if you check out the graphs I posted in this thread:

          It looks as if the hit to the site happened a bit earlier.

  8. Writer Fox profile image35
    Writer Foxposted 11 years ago

    Here's a few growls:

    1.  The new profile page is horrible for SEO.  There is so much wrong with it that there is nothing right with it. 
    2.  Since the zZz implementation – the past seven weeks – I've had a huge problem with Hubs getting crawl errors: 404 and 410.  And these are for Hubs that never showed zZz.  I've not had any zZz Hubs.
    3.  When the new profile page was implemented (on September 27th, I think), I had another slew of 404 and 410 crawl errors.

    (To check for crawl errors, go into your Webmaster Tools account and click on "Health" from the left menu tab.  Under that, click on crawl errors.)

    I really don't have time to check on this every day and I only have a handful of Hubs.  I can't imagine checking for hundreds of Hubs!  I finally deleted one of my HP profiles today because it's too much of a time bandit to constantly check for programming mistakes.  I never have these problems on sites that I own and control.

    HubPages management says that they are going to be implementing many new changes.  I can hardly wait.  That is the worst thing in the eyes of Google right now – to make radical changes for the perceived purpose of improving search rankings.    Already, that philosophy is backfiring big time!

    Since August 11, 2012, 85,000 Hubbers have left

    Simone Haruko Smith, Head of Outreach at HubPages (whatever that is), has posted a video on YouTube.   She gives two versions of "I'm a Little Teapot" poses and then, she answers the question, Why are people motivated to publish on user-generated content sites?

    "Mostly they have some sort of intrinsic motivation.  They want to share something that they are passionate about.  They are doing this outside of their professional lives.  They are not getting paid for their work unless it's through mutual ad revenue or prize money or something.  It's a fun, recreational activity to publish on a user-generated content site.  Yes, you could make money from possibly passive ad revenue and you can do this over time, but it's not your main motivator.  So, money can factor in but this isn't, again, 'a job.'"

    So, that should explain everything to Hub authors:  If you're here to make money, you've got the wrong idea.  And, if you are not having fun in this recreational activity, find another hobby. … r_embedded

    1. Bendo13 profile image79
      Bendo13posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Oh yes, I've noticed the crawl errors for months... In fact, I just checked and mine have been on a steady climb.  Mine are all "not found" errors and back on the 4th of July I had 152 errors in one day.

      Yesterday I had 230 errors...

      I can't imagine that there are that many broken links all over HubPages, or that Google would still have these pages indexed if they're gone... but there's no way I could go to every place across the net and change or delete the links to the hubs that aren't there anymore, especially if I didn't post the links.

  9. profile image56
    Southernmapartposted 11 years ago

    I'm new here and haven't posted a hub because I can't figure out what is going on.  Working on it. 

    However, I've been around the 'net since before Google got started.  It is my feeling, based on experience outside of Hub Pages, that Google is messing with the links.  It's as of there is a new game plan and Google is somehow tagging, or blocking, links that compete with their advertisers.  If you are not in competition with their advertisers, then you get a free pass through the gauntlet.

  10. Greekgeek profile image78
    Greekgeekposted 11 years ago

    Wow. Boy, am I barking up the wrong tree! What was I thinking, using Hubpages as part of my online writing job?

    Seriously, there are four things going on right now which could be contributing to the traffic crash:

    *Paul Edmondson posted in the official announcement thread about TWO reasons for the most recent traffic problems: there were glitches with the new profile pages and new Amazon capsule, changes implemented last week, which Hubstaff KNOWS are causing problems. They've reverted the two things they think are causing the trouble and are hoping for a recovery.

    *Pending status on new content means that very suddenly, Hubpages is not showing fresh content to search engines. I've ranted about this enough already.

    *We've had a few hours of site downtime on Friday and some on Sunday. Search engines may be reacting somewhat to that.

    A few datapoints:

    The last Google Panda update was September 18. There are several other Google algo filters causing more fluctuations, but I haven't seen any web-wide news about them since Sep 18 apart from one (see below).

    Hubpages' sitewide traffic has been somewhat tepid for many months, but there were no dramatic ups and downs until Friday, September 28. It's clearly visible on this Quantcast traffic chart (which shows similar sites are not affected):

    The Google algorithm change on Friday was the "exact phrase match domain name" tweak, penalizing low-quality websites trying to match a particular exact search phrase in their domain name, like I can see why the poster above who lists his username as paypal-online.web might have had his websites impacted by this change, but "" is not an exact-match domain name of any search that's not really looking for Hubpages, so I can't see how this Google algo change could be impacting us.

    Which leaves me thinking it's strictly Hubpages-local factors at work in the traffic drops we're seeing. Paul Edmondson has named two of them, and they're being worked on. The fourth can also be ironed out. Time will tell whether the SEO concerns some of us are raising about "Pending" hubs are well-founded or not.

  11. Daughter Of Maat profile image96
    Daughter Of Maatposted 11 years ago

    I lost over 70% of my traffic literally overnight on 9/28. I figured it was just due to the site being down, and the weekend and all. But it just keeps dropping. I was doing so well, and now it's all gone... again.

    I don't understand it myself. I really don't understand all the google mumbojumbo, although I did notice that my 2 most recent hubs were not indexed.

    I really hope the traffic comes back. We're all taking a huge hit here. I thought it was a google algo update. But I'm really not sure. I've been watching analytics, and I'm not seeing any patterns except a constant drop.

  12. peeples profile image94
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    Ok not one of the big ones but I seem to be having an issue with traffic also. Except mine did a big drop followed by a big jump, followed by another serious drop, to now holding steady at about 50% of my previous views. My other account which has been open for 3 months and has 15 hubs of quality, is getting ZERO hits from google. I don't use lots of links, nothing spam, but I am lucky to get 22 hits a day from outside of HP. I don't understand it.

  13. Skarlet profile image84
    Skarletposted 11 years ago

    This is very sad. It seems that we have absolutely no control. I was going to attempt to fix some of my weak hubs, but now I am afraid of doing anything. A few weeks ago I noticed that something was going on because my traffic was increasing greatly, then suddenly it took a nosedive. I just can't imagine what would cause my traffic to suddenly double and then drop off to less than half of what it was.


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