I have been comparing data from a period starting on the Oct 14 Panda update against a like number days preceding the update. I am looking at pages from one sub-directory on my site.
The historical pattern from Analytics for years has always shown LOTS of keywords; a typical month would show visits at about 25000, and kwds at about 21000. I have interpreted this as evidence that most of my traffic came from long tails.
In the period that includes the Oct 14 update, my visits fell by 45.3%. At the same time my kwd report shows a decline of 45.9%.
I see these almost identical numbers and want to make these assumptions: 1. The panda effect was targeted to long tail searches. 2. There is no need to look at other metrics such as comparing performance of individual search terms from the two periods.
In your knowledge and thinking, is this a valid assumption or am I looking at a red herring?
Thanks in advance to the brains here who have always helped.
In our case (in Feb) almost every product page (long tail) dropped off the first page.... whereas most category pages (shorter more powerful key terms) only dropped a few positions.
My take home is that Panda affects ALMOST all key terms and weak long tail key terms that you were listed for before because of your "credibility" with Google was stipped away. And your shorter term more "earned" key terms stay put... but drop a few "credibility" spots.