We are a local motorcycle/powersports shop and we recently lost 50% of our Google traffic on our main company website on 5/5/11. I have read on the panda 2.1 update(some call it) and it looks like some people were affected on that date as well. The only thing I can think of that might cause this is that we have 2 smaller sites, which we had prior to the company website. These 2 sites have the same content as 2 of 8 sections of the main company site. I'm thinking possibly 301 the smaller sites to the same pages on the main company site and do a reinclusion request? Any comments would be appreciated.
The 301 makes plenty of sense to me, whether those two duplicate sites were the actual cause of your 5/5 loss or not. I suspect there's more going on, but by executing the 301 you will eliminate that possible factor. And who knows for sure, maybe your rankings will rebound.
That sounds like you have 25% of your content duplicated which would scare me.
#1 Make sure your pages are unique.
#2 Make sure your pages have value for users. Is this something that people will mention on twitter or link to? Hopefully it is. If it isn't, then its time to rethink what should be on your website. Remember even if you solve this current traffic loss situation, you still need to improve your site so it can handle future Google algo changes.
Ok, well I have decided I am going to 301 the 2 smaller niche sites to the main site and do the reinclusion request. The smaller sites stopped performing well after the main site was launched so its not a huge loss. Certainly not worth risking this being the problem or a problem in the future.. I will keep you posted. Thanks everyone.