Reno - 4:58 pm on Apr 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
This whole thing just seems like such a hit and miss affair.
All the recent interviews (that I have seen) with Google spokespeople indicates that they are completely aware and pleased with Panda, and it's doing exactly what they want. So I don't think we can grasp too securely to the hope that maybe they see the mess and will return us to a state of bliss. To be brutally candid, I think everyone had better brace themselves for this new reality. Some of us will be out of business in just a few months ~ THAT's the new reality. There have been some very good posts here by Leosghost and others that suggest some pathways, but the question remains ~ how long can a person wait to recover if they've been crushed?
Matt Cutts gave a pretty good interview with Aaron Wall back in 2005 where he clearly says that Google has a "strong sense" of how an algo update will impact the webmaster community, so no one should kid themselves ~ they know what they are doing:
Q. When you guys roll out new algorithms, filters, and patches some good sites end up getting filtered out with the bad. Do you pre-test most of the algorithms prior to launching them? How do you know how strongly to apply filters? By default do you usually lean on one side or the other and then tweak your way back?
A. "We always put algorithmic changes into our test harnesses to poke and prod in lots of different ways. But you also have to be adaptive. If someone in the outside world notices an issue after a launch that you didn't notice, it's important to take that feedback and act on it, and also to try to improve the testing procedure to cover that in the future. We usually have a pretty strong sense of whether something will be a large-impact launch or not. But you can't completely avoid having a large impact with a launch. An example might be if you're replacing a large subsystem in the crawl-index-serve pipeline. We continually go back and improve or replace sections of our system. Sometimes the results can't be bit-for-bit compatible in output, so you have to do the best you can. Update Fritz in 2003 is the canonical example of that; you can't go from a batch-based search engine to an incrementally-updated search engine without some visible impact. To answer your last question, I personally lean toward softer launches; webmasters never need any extra stress. But sometimes launches can't be made completely soft or invisible, as I mentioned."
(Emphasis mine in 2nd paragraph)
Read the... 2005 Matt Cutts Interview [search-marketing.info]
ps. Don't ya' love this line: "webmasters never need any extra stress". Ha! It's just a matter of time until we'll be able to measure the body counts as a result of Panda.