danimalSK - 11:43 am on Mar 24, 2011 (gmt 0)
There seems to be a ton of theories kicking round about Panda, and a lot of noise but little actual signal, so I'd like to kick off a thread just for data.
- Large site (1m+ indexed pages)
- Aggregator + UGC in entertainment
- Huge amount of content, but spread quite thinly (more content than the pages now outranking us however)
- Ton of backlinks (including 100k+ from one of Google's flagship sites... (not Blogger!))
- Strong level of user engagement (1m + registered users). Low (for our vertical) bounce rate (< 50%). High number of page views / visit
- Monetised only through affiliate links (no "ads" at all).
- Absolutely no black hat tactics (never bought any links, never created doorway pages etc)
- Only invest in SEO to a "hygiene" level - i.e. we are more interested in building a brand / best in class product, than an SEO empire. Or rather SEO is a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
- We have several small SEO issues that we've never cared to fix (see aforementioned desire to build a product, rather than a SEO site), e.g. a slightly f*ked up sitemap, semi-duplicate content due to problems with UGC / aggregation logic etc.
- Recognisable brand (especially amongst our demographic). Gets a ton of direct traffic. Best in class product (by quite a margin). Lots of word of mouth recommendations and constant praise on our feedback page.
- Huge amount of growth (5x) in the past year, and across the board (referrals, social, SEO, direct).
We've been hit:
- across the board to all page templates
- no recognisable pattern to the pages hit (some of the worst affected have the most content and strongest link profile)
- about 20% down on average