dataguy - 7:44 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
How is Google picking up these subdomain pages? Are they linked from your main pages or completely link separate from the main domain site? Any external links into the subdomains?
There are plenty of external links to many of the original URL's. I suspect that the reason that the URL's changed in the SERPs so quickly was because they had backlinks from outside of the site. There are still links to the new URLs from various places on the site as well.
My gut feeling is that Panda makes the good content be pulled down by the bad content, and the bad content pulled up by the good content. The net result of splitting author accounts into subdomains is more traffic for the good content, and slightly less traffic for the bad content. This is perfectly acceptable by me.
We have been trying to determine good content vs. bad by using referral stats and crawl frequencies. Our good content is crawled as much as 30 times per day, despite the fact that it hasn't changed in years.
For those of you who are still skeptical and think I deal only in thin, SPAM content, here is an example for you:
With over 50,000 members contributing their writing, we've received all kinds of content over the years. We've had paid editors (before Panda made us let them go) try to determine good from bad by rating content from 1-10, but there's more to it than what can be determined by human moderation.
Of course we could tell which articles promote affiliate products or the latest get-rich-quick schemes, but beyond that we would get articles from outside the U.S. which were unique, exclusive and written in perfect English and articles with the same subject matter written in the US, and almost every time Google would favor the articles written in the U.S. These articles are indistinguishable from each other otherwise, but some how, probably using some sort of semantic algorithm, Google would favor one over the other.
The thing is, only some of the time could we tell when articles originate outside of the U.S. so while our editors were trying to pick the best articles, how could they do so?
It seems to me that breaking each account into their own subdomains will negate this issue. Google can favor one author over the next for whatever reason they want, and that's fine by us. We are, after all, trying to give the best user experience.
I've worked practically non-stop since Feb 23 to try to figure out how to meet our user's needs and Google's needs at the same time. This sure seems like a workable solution.