I recently employed a similar strategy on our pandalized site (among other improvements). I didn't look at pagerank but rather Google referrals for the pages/sections that were hit. If they got low google traffic but high site traffic I no-indexed them. If they got low google traffic and low site traffic I merged or removed them where applicable (301'd). If they got low google traffic but ranked well for their key terms, I left them alone.
|At what point should we see some movement traffic wise? When at least 50% of the thin pages have been removed? |
Unfortunately I only did this recent fix since the last Panda update so I have no idea if or when we'll see any improvement from it (nothing has helped me improve up until now though). Rumor has it that it can take a few panda iterations to see recovery. And there is no magic number as far as what percent of pages have to be improved. It seems to be different for everyone because there are most likely multiple factors working to impose the Panda demotion. A higher PR site with great backlinks might only have to change 30% of the pages whereas a lower PR site with less backlinks might have to change 80%. Only Google knows the magic number for your site.
Appreciate the suggestion.
Is it a good practice to remove a page in Webmaster Tools once you've deleted it from your site or 301'd it to another page?
You wouldn't want to use WMT to remove a page you 301'd, in my opinion. You want Google to naturally adjust their index for the change. For a page you've deleted, however, it would be safe to remove it via WMT if you wanted it out of the index asap. I used WMT to remove a few things but mostly I just let googlebot pick up a 404 or noindex tag naturally.
I also can't see using PR as a metric for content to get rid of or to move. Instead, I'd look at URLs that showed a drop in search traffic when Panda hit.
Even more, be clear about what Panda is trying to target. It's not "thin content" such as affiliate feed copy (or even low word count pages). Panda's target is "shallow content" - empty calorie pages no matter how long or short. It's pages that don't really add much value or say anything in depth that Google went after with Panda.
Forget PR, instead look at your URLS as Tedster suggests, individually, and if one gets no search traffic it becomes a candidate for improvement, merging or deletion (in that order and don't worry about GWT 404 errors on pages that get no traffic and/or have no backlinks).
Fewer pages and higher quality pages are not the traits of a spammer and are being rewarded right now. Just be careful not to tip things the other way and focus on too few pages when the subject dictates you need more to cover it completely for your visitors.
Also, I've been working to improve older urls a great deal of late and have yet to see much movement in their visitor counts. It's not a quick process, I expect it to take months to pay off.
Great tips. Thanks.
> You wouldn't want to use WMT to remove a page you 301'd, in my opinion. You want Google to naturally adjust their index for the change.
The issue is that if the page had limited content, low traffic but say a PR1 and I wanted to 301 it. Wouldn't it be better to remove the page in WMT to help alleviate the Panda penalty?
Are there any 3 party tools that make this entire process easier? Or just use Analytics and manually correlate low traffic pages, PR, etc..?
I was wondering this:
1) With a thin, low-traffic page that you merge into another.
2) And the case where WMT shows no links to that page.
Should you bother to 301 it or just 404?
I haven't noticed any change whatsoever from consolidating and 301ing pages to get out of Panda. No recovery at all.
In my opinion, a 301 Permanent Redirect is be for key pages that now have a different URL. By "key" I mean pages with significant "site entry" traffic of some kind, or good natural backlinks whose link power you want to conserve.
Otherwise, I just let the old URL's status be 404 Not Found. Over time this makes site maintenance a lot cleaner, and nothing truly significant is lost.