brinked - 11:17 pm on May 24, 2011 (gmt 0)
Tedster, as far as panda goes, aren't sites being punished for having a low quality site? It is not even so much to do with low quality, I know google uses the phrase "quality" but in reality, googles algorithm can not tell whether an article is of high quality or not. The panda update is targeting content farms, so what a site did wrong was publish a bunch of farm type MFA related content which only purpose is to rank.
"Pandalized" websites are essentially being punished for farming content. From what we have seen, panda mostly hits websites with a lot of pages and ad placement almost certainly plays some kind of role here. Lets say my site widgetworld has excellent content. My content is created by experts in there field and there is no over optimization done at all anywhere on the site. I, however place 16 ads on every article page making it an almost impossible task for my readers to actually focus on the articles. Because of the overwhelming amount of ads placed on the site, google's panda kung fu's its rankings. This site would be punished for having these excessive ads and removing these ads would essentially restore its rankings to normal once the site is re-evaluated making this a penalty type situation.
But escaping from Panda does not appear to be about removing some violation, it's about creating some new factor that registers positively in this algorithm. So I don't think the penalty model is a fruitful way to think about the challenge and how to meet it. Not all ranking drops are penalties - and they never were.
But it can be. What if the reason I was pandalized was because I have 3000 total articles on my site and all of them are about widgets, I remove 2999 of them I therefore have removed the violation. I do not think adding content will in fact cause a pandalized site to recover unless you are adding enough of the right kind of content that will offset your existing content which it will just be easier to remove the current content you have or removing complete useless sections of your site.