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It is not fun to see hard working people face hard business situations but nobody ever said life was easy. The Panda update raised the water level in the webmaster pool. Some webmasters are very talented and have been able to keep swimming amongst this higher water level. Some other webmasters were not as talented and used outdated strategies so they were unable to keep afloat and sank beneath the water.
I do think that with enough time, money and creativity a site impacted by panda can be rescued. Though it might not be profitable to rescue certain sites and that might be hard to hear for some webmasters who are emotionally tied to their sites.
As for starting a new site, I would tell panda webmasters to take a step back and really think why a new site would have any different result than their current site. If your SEO knowledge is not strong enough to rescue your site from Panda, why would you expect a new site built using your current SEO knowledge to do any better?
Unless you have an inside connection - there is no way you can prepare yourself for upcoming algo changes.
. I have one set of websites that was killed by Panda and another that benefited greatly. How is this any reflection of my "talent"?!?
The fact that some didn't get hit is a matter of blind luck
If I have a brick house, no source of flames and a sprinler system I'm prepared against my house burning down.
And here comes Panda/Lion/Bobcat in the form of lightning strike and you will be the next one to join the bunch of surprised homeowners who were prepared against home-fires...
You've completely missed the point that algo changes aren't random. I won't be the next surprised website owner, because it's *against* Google's best interests to demote me. I quite simply have the best website in my niche. I didn't fake it through backlinks.
I own over 100 websites and I can guarantee you two things:
Generally, if you got hit by panda, it's not Google's fault, and it's not my fault. It's your fault.
I am surprised some are trying to have us believe Google algo updates are some sort of lottery draws?
What you are probably missing is that if Matt Cutts looked at your site, he's going to say 'whatever, that's no better or worse than 1000 other sites, I don't care if it's on the front page or not'. My main site, Matt Cutts wouldn't say that. And THAT'S what the algo is implementing - not pagerank or backlinks or expert content. Google makes more money if they serve better results. My primary website qualifies as 'better results', in every measure. Content. Layout. Backlinks. Authority. Bounce rate. Whatever.
All my income is online. 1/2 of it comes from non-google sources. Do you have that diversity?
If the algo so smart why do they hired thousands of raters?