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2 years trying to recover from panda.

 4:23 am on Aug 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I get the feeling that I'm singing to the choir but I've never posted here before.

I am an artist. A main facet of my business since 2003 has been the creation & publishing of digital widgets.

I opened examplewidget.com in 2003 & it was an immediate success. Traffic grew steadily as the site grew & our offering expanded. Google invited me to to be in the test pools for Adwords & Adsense, They came to my home to interview me, they invited me to the campus for Adsense in your City... All signs pointed to the fact that I was doing great in Google's eyes. They literally told me in person that I was a part of this group because my site presented an uncommonly high level of value & quality.

On April 11th 2011 examplewidget.com suddenly lost about 60% of our traffic from Google overnight. 2 weeks later out homepage at examplemain.com (open since 1997) was also hit, losing about 80% of it's traffic from Google.

At the time I was running about 60 sites for various design clients. Luckily none of them were hit.

The hit from Google destroyed about 70% of my income instantly & cost me half my life savings before I could adjust my business & stabilize. I lost both of my regular workers & had to spend most of my time on contract work so I didn't loose my house.

I've gone through large & elaborate maneuvers as well as mind numbing minutia trying to recover. I've managed to create some spikes but whatever I gain just slips back away. I'm outranked mostly by pirate copies of my own original work.

I'll take any advice I can get starting with some advice on where to post in this forum with specific technical questions.

[edited by: goodroi at 1:00 pm (utc) on Aug 4, 2013]
[edit reason] Welcome to WebmasterWorld, please go read & follow the community guidleines [/edit]



 12:19 am on Aug 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@raseone - I second that - get your site reviewed if you want strong inputs.


 2:25 am on Aug 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I just checked, after posting. There is a review page up and running, if anyone can spare some time to help raseone and raise community awareness on suggested factors : [webmasterworld.com...]

Robert Charlton

 3:16 am on Aug 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mod's note: Please note that we're going to have to keep comments on the site review in the private Supporters area confined to that area. We can't bring bits of info out and discuss them here. I've already posted some brief observations.


 11:48 pm on Aug 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've posted my request for a site review here.


It's not a perfect site but it's not getting the treatment it deserves. Please help me continue this discussion on the new thread. You will all find answers to some of your questions there.

Thank you all so much.


[edited by: aakk9999 at 3:08 am (utc) on Aug 22, 2013]
[edit reason] ToS [/edit]


 8:16 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

raseone: sorry if this is a bit late, haven't been in here in a while due to health and biz issues. I know exactly where you've been for the last 2 years. My Dr. narrowly rescued me and my biz with the right ahem, Rx's. I know, first hand, what 2+ years of CONSTANT "tried EVERYTHING everyone suggests so WTF is the problem" can do to one in the way of mental desperation. It is NOT necessarily YOUR (site's) fault! My suggestion is to check my posts and those of others starting on pg 5 of: [webmasterworld.com...] Fortunately, in our case, G apparently realized their ahem... "minor algorithm oversights" (as mentioned in one of Matt's videos referenced in that thread), and "restored" our site, apparently along with a number of others to a position of "prior authority", probably like yours, after 2+ years and we have been continuing to climb over the last two months, back to pre-panda levels, without any significant action on our part (well nothing different than we have done for the previous 15 years prior to Panda 1). I could be speaking on a naive level here (i.e. these might be the tip of a larger problem), but I have over the last couple of years come to the opinion that once you "lose authority" for whatever reason G deems reasonable, 1. G often can't tell who the originator of new content is and doubly penalizes you for having it once ANY others copy it, and 2. G doesn't always have a common sense knowledge of what some large dedicated sites are about overall when they cover a lot of closely related topics, and thus believes they need to be penalized when they mention their primary keyword even when it can't be avoided.

I don't have access to the secret quorum part of WebmasterWorld where they apparently have elevated this topic for you, but my guess, is that you too, have accidentally become unwittingly entangled just a smidge on the wrong side of the razor edge of one of G's algorithm shortcomings, so hopefully they have the secret contacts to untangle this for you.

Good Luck and if all else fails consider loading up on Omega-3, vitamin B complex and see your Doc. Maybe some day, some enterprising Atty will give up suits on the Meso term and start one on G webmaster mental abuse in the 2010's. :-)


 8:37 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I will probably end up with another rap on the knuckles for this but what the...

I can say that what happened to me this year with Google came close to suicide. I faced financial ruin. The only thing stopping me was not wanting to dump all of this onto my partner and leave my children. But there were many times I just wished I was gone. I could not cope with the desperation of not being able to pay our bills. It was horrendous. I am sorry if that breaks yet more rules or is unpalatable, but it is how it was.

I honestly believe I was just collateral damage. I had never engaged in anything dodgy on my site. My competitors were wiped out too. They just turned up the dial on a couple of "brand" sites & the rest of us lost out. The consequences were devastating.

Mine wasn't Panda or Penguin. I lost traffic slowly, over months. Come September and it started bouncing back. Not to 2012 levels, but is getting there. I have just found a job (after months of applying) and my Adsense is back to sustainable levels. But I am keeping the job because I will NEVER be in that situation where my main source of income is so badly affected. The mental toll was unfathomable.

I am sorry to anybody else who has been hit. I can say that for me, there has been a light at the end of the tunnel, and Google seem to like me again. Not so much with my competitors though. I still see them nowhere.


 9:25 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Saffron, sincerely I am sorry to read that m8, Iím glad you didnít go through with it for the your sake as well as the ones you leave behind.. It would be typical you killed yourself and the next day there is a press release to say google has rolled back an update, have to hold on, have to hope, one day at a time!

I think many people forget the human cost to these changes, not talking about people who can no longer pay for their golf weekends or fancy cars but rent and food for their children.

Of course Google is a business and doesnít owe anyone anything (I would argue against this) but at the very least I would like to see a little humility when a major update occurs. I find waking up to a cheshire cat style photo of someone hugging a *childs* toy to be in **exceptionally** bad judgement when changes the person has made/contributed will have had an indirect (direct?) negative impact on a number of *childrens* lives/family's/homes.

One thing I don't understand about Panda IS isn't it just to tackle duplicate and thin content? If so isn't that a pretty easy if time consuming workaround, write orginal content? I understand the misery and frustration of penguin but never panda, perhaps I misunderstand what it demotes though?

[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 9:46 am (utc) on Sep 12, 2013]


 10:54 am on Sep 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am glad to see a few people have had a couple of rebounds here after 2 years. Here's hoping for me :-)

@Saffron - Except for April 2012 which I lost about 30% of traffic due to Penguin my site has experiences a slow trickle downward as well (I have had to get another job 3 months ago). I can't say if my site is directly affected by panda(I always assumed it probably is) but those ahead me have been affected at least indirectly since it is either mostly large brands or thin blog content around 2 years old ahead of me now.


 4:51 am on Sep 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am pretty much in the exact same boat as Raseone.

We got smashed by Panda 1.0 and 2.0 and traffic has declined since.

We went from 50k/day Google visitors to 6k/day now.

Disastrous for revenue. Desperately trying to become profitable or will have to shut down soon. Tried (and trying) many different things to recover.

Entirely depressing.


 6:17 am on Sep 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Masaai - you might want to consider having your site reviewed for free here : [webmasterworld.com...]

List out what you've done and approx. when, to provide a snapshot of where you're at. You're not alone and there's many good folks here happy to lend a hand. Maybe the perspective can help.


 4:11 am on Sep 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Whitey - thanks for the suggestion. I will post a review request if the results of our ongoing changes are fruitless in the coming weeks.


 8:29 pm on Sep 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can say that what happened to me this year with Google came close to suicide. I faced financial ruin. The only thing stopping me was not wanting to dump all of this onto my partner and leave my children. But there were many times I just wished I was gone. I could not cope with the desperation of not being able to pay our bills. It was horrendous. I am sorry if that breaks yet more rules or is unpalatable, but it is how it was.


A lot of people can relate to your story. I'm glad you are still with us. It is so unfortunate that Google has allowed this to happen. They could have handled the links issue much more appropriately, by trying to identify and ignore suspected "unnatural" links; alas, they chose to penalize algorithmically, and there has been A LOT of collateral damage. My sites were targeted by negative SEO starting in 2010, and I have disavowed 2,000 full domains. I feel like Penguin made me susceptible to Panda (due to loss of trust), because my traffic continued a steady decline with each Panda iteration.

My disavow list was first uploaded 6 months ago. I tried to keep it updated based on the hundreds/thousands of new spam links that I can't control. In just the past 2 months, Google has already discovered another 3,000+ spam backlinks. I can't keep up and no longer bother modifying my disavow list. Google maintains my site's suppression via Penguin, which they don't bother running more than once every 6 months it seems. Incidentally, I have had hundreds of backlinks removed by reaching out to webmasters, and I have seen NO ill effects of those backlink removals in Bing. This means that Bing was already ignoring them! Some of those links have been gone for a year now. Way to go Bing. Google could learn something here.

Saffron, I hope your story touches someone at Google to take a closer look at negative SEO and its impacts, and at least reward folks for trying their best to overcome it. People who have diligently used the disavow tool, removed links, improved content (Panda), or are obvious victims of negative SEO in a competitive niche deserve a closer look by the spam team and a second chance.


 12:14 am on Sep 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Saffron, I hope your story touches someone at Google to take a closer look at negative SEO and its impacts, and at least reward folks for trying their best to overcome it.

+1 Saffron There's no doubt that the stress and consequences created by business failure is great. Business isn't just about making money, there are responsibilities that go along with the actions of making it and the effects it has on others. It's just that few of the many would talk about it in these honest terms. Thanks for raising it Saffron. I hope someone's taking note and glad that you got through - bruised maybe, but tougher and stronger no doubt.

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