Tallon - 4:37 am on Apr 12, 2011 (gmt 0)
After spending more time looking around the serps today, I'm convinced this "isn't the one"...it's crap floating to the top time. I see the "a male body part" in the title of one mainstream key phrase (ranking top 5), "this site may harm your computer" in top 10, and malware sites ranking (it's like I'm searching in google images, lol). Not everywhere, but in some pretty decent traffic phrases that I watch.
I have taken a hit but not too bad considering the slight gain I had with panda #1...today is still up over 50% from this time last year so I can live with that...but the drop (if it sticks) is a warning shot, especially for my pages that are well linked to (regularly) and have enjoyed long term, stable rankings (when ask outranks that, something's wrong IMO).
What is outranking me: mainly brands brands and more brands, but oddly enough, not much ehow. One recipe search I did today showed three domains taking over the first page of results! I see lots from about, ask and mainstream publications, but social media celebrities are wrestling around right underneath me. I'm convinced that if you have a very active social media profile (for twitter and facebook especially), you can have the thinnest content on your website rank in top 10 though not for anything too crazy competitive I'm sure.
Still too early yet to know the overall damage my #1 site has taken, but just noting that it's not time to freak out just yet, I'm seeing a lot of bad crud ranking right now (and I don't mean scrapers or poor content, I mean cloaked adult stuff and malware).
What does look grim though are all the big brands taking over, once they figure out the content farm tricks (rewriting indie webmaster content), we're all sunk.
What Panda might be telling us is: build a big brand and if not, you're not going to be able to keep up and compete in the future. And the cynical side of me wonders if that wasn't the purpose this whole time (use the peons to build Google and the web for the big brands to step in and take over once it reaches critical mass).