|Panda and large ads|
So I have done literally everything that has been the supposed cause of Panda, but am left with just one, perhaps major, item that I could be identified as my Panda "culprit".
I have big block ads on my site, that I have not removed, due to the fact that with such low traffic now, I literally would not be able to afford to eat.
However, I am hoping I will soon be able to sell my house, which will provide me enough money to go without this income for the time being.
I guess my question is, that if did remove these ads, and that if the rest of my site is all good, then how long might I expect until I can see some return in the original traffic/rankings?
My current theory is sitting at around 6 months, but if anyone actually has any experience, evidence or other theories, then I please divulge.
Hi Whatson, you best bet would be to post your URL over at the google forums. That way you'll be able to get much more customised advice.
Ultimately, it's very hard to know what the culprit is. Ads are only an issue, when they are excessive and dominate above the fold. Of course, that's only a rule of thumb.
So you feel your site is lacking in some way, giving a signal it should not, and your instinct is to optimize further as Google suggests... then enter the over-optimization penalty Matt Cutts is working on.
My advice is simply to load up the default theme for whatever CMS you are using, make no changes for SEO in ANY way and continue creating useful content of higher quality than your competitors. Be mindful of overlapping your other pages and ignore Google.
You losing your house because of mysterious Google shenanigans looks bad on Google, not on you. Also, if you have little used features (comments, twitter profile, facebook page, social buttons) consider ditching them. It's better to have no features than little used features imo, the less to rank you poorly for the better.
99% certain the OOP is already in place.
Thanks guys, but I really was just trying to identify one item here, i.e. big prominent block ads being removed, and how long until I would expect to see improvements.
It's impossible to say Whatson, because it may not be your issue.
If it's truly a Panda issue, you will most likely have to wait for a Panda update. Anybodies guess?
If its the above the fold issue, then results can be quicker.
In hopes to cheer up a fellow webmaster, here's my (limited as it is) experience in messing with ads:
Site got banned (completely de-indexed, zero G traffic).
Site had two super-prominent 300x250 ad blocks ATF. Not saying it was the reason for the ban!
Replaced the two 300x250 blocks with one 728x90 ATF and one 300x250 in-content. CPM dropped about 20% - painful but bearable.
Done one or two cosmetic changes (font size and background colors, mostly stuff like this in an external CSS file). No content change whatsoever.
Submitted re-inclusion request.
Three weeks later received a Gmail (not a WMT message) response saying, in essence, "we see improvements but one or more pages of your site still violate ..." (emphasis mine)
One month after that (no changes in the interim and no communique with G) side got un-banned. Mind you, G traffic is still laughable (almost nil). But WMT for this site works, Gbot crawls and everything looks peachy except, of course, the site is still heavily penalized.
The takeaway, I think, should be this: the ads do matter. Mostly, from what I can tell, to the human reviewers (or members of the search quality team, whatever). I don't believe Panda or any algo change has anything to do with it. A person with the power to ban or penalize you lands on [one page of] your site, after 0.2 sec still hates it - you're toast.
So, if you're planning to submit a re-inclusion request, and we all hope that this generates at least one human visit from Google, you do want to tone the ads down if they are absolutely glaring. If you think that you're not dealing with any manual action against your site, messing with ads is not going to help, might as well leave them alone. Or tone them down for the benefit of your users if it makes sense to you.
I worked on a site that got pounded by Panda. We did everything that we thought could be causing it (including removing the ads). That was about 9 months ago. We've still seen no recovery.
I now don't think Panda has anything to do with what Google said it was about at the time, and I wouldn't remove your ads.