Tallon - 10:05 am on May 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
dickbaker do you have any way of knowing how your site's overall traffic count compared to the retail site? I'm crunching on a theory right now that Panda isn't being applied to every site and it isn't dependent on site size at all but on traffic counts. Here's a theory I popped in another thread here:
In my niche there are so many anomalies that I'm now wondering if only a portion of the web is being rated by Panda, this could explain why we see so many scrapers outranking "real" sites.
What I'm seeing ranking fine:
--a site with 90% (at least) thin content (image and one or two sentences per page). Site has thousands of pages.
--sites with 10+ ads per page
--sites with only the title above the fold (the rest are ads and theme elements)
--scrapers (no original content)
My main, biggest site was hit by Panda 2.0, my other smaller sites (most super thin, even thin affiliate sites) have either risen or remained flat throughout the pandas. This doesn't make sense (my main site has the primo backlinks, completely organic, social activity, yada yada).
What I'm wondering is if it's possible that once a site reaches a certain threshold, panda is applied, otherwise a site stays under the radar? I don't think site size has anything to do with it, it's more about traffic amount. Something along the lines of:
--Once google sends a specific amount of traffic to a site, panda evaluation occurs.
--Or, if a site's overall traffic has more than x% from Google, panda evaluation occurs.
--If a % of a site's content is ranking for high volume keywords, panda evaluation occurs.
My site was hit by panda 2.0 (so far it's looking to be about a 25% loss) and it covers a handful of related topics (info site) with about 1,500 articles. I have a smaller site (traffic wise) with higher page count (about 2,500 articles) and it hasn't been touched by Panda...the differences between the two:
--Pandalized site covers a handful of subjects (related) while the other is focused on only one.
--Pandalized site ranks high (or did) for several high traffic queries, non-pandalized site doesn't and never has
--Pandalized site has 1 to 3 ads per page depending on content amount, non-pandalized site has none.
--Pandalized site has some overlap and some thin pages, non-Pandalized site is LOADED with them
--Pandalized site is active and thriving with regular readers, 50,000+ subscribers, inbounds, social activity, non-pandalized site has been quiet and effectively abandoned for close to a year.
The theory about loose focus on a site is interesting and rings some bells for me UNTIL I look at a competitor of mine who has done everything to make their site as similar to mine as possible (I write about XYZ one day, the next week they slap up the same thing). Categories, content ideas, you name it, this competitor slips on you-know-what to mimic it as fast as possible.
In fact, the competitor's site is much looser and less focused (overall) than mine is. They're still ranking as before for the queries I've been tracking, don't appear to be hit or touched by Panda at all that I can see (using competitor analysis tools), site size (pages) is about the same between our sites.
What's the difference between our two sites? Serps traffic and overall traffic (from subscribers and regular visitors), I'm estimating that I'm about 4 * the size trafficwise (domains are about a year apart in age, I'm older).
It's looking more and more to me that the more successful a site is in the serps, the more scrutiny it gets from Google and at some point Panda comes into play. But that's not all, I'm wondering if I've only been knocked down one peg atm because the site is only at a certain traffic level...if I pursue and achieve more serps traffic (on new content), I could at some point trigger say a second slap down (then experience a loss of 50% instead of 25% for example). I guess you could say this could be a way of throttling traffic for non-brands (meaning Fortune 500 entities).
This is all theory of course, but it does explain (to me) why there are so many contrary results in the serps. If this proves true, then caution comes into play when trying to build and maintain a site. You'll want as much traffic as possible without poking the Panda, and at some point you'll want to stop creating content that will draw search traffic (pulling the plug and starting on a new domain).
Craz-EE I know, but this is what I've been mulling over.