SocietyRoyalle - 8:44 am on Oct 1, 2011 (gmt 0)
Our site has had a large recovery with this latest Panda update.
I have been lurking here for quite a long time, and now that we've apparently just had our site wide Panda penalty removed I felt I owe it to everyone here to post.
I should stress - we only have ~80 hours of data so far, so please assign the significance accordingly.
Some facts to begin with:
- pre Panda visitors: ~400K per month
- site type: media, news and information in a niche area
- domain name: +10 years old, we registered it back then
- revenue: advertising - primarily from our own clients with some Adsense
- content: some of it dates back 12+ years (we purchased the site and put it on a new domain we registered - this was pre 2000), the rest of it generated over the last 10 years
- back links: totally organic, generated over 10+ years - many from very highly trusted sites including Wikipedia
We were hit massively by the first Panda update and had to let our 2 employees go (just two of us founders left).
We were then downgraded on every subsequent Panda update.
Changes we made to the site (effective date was in July - we messed up our earlier attempts):
- Removed 300K+ low quality pages: these were all old discussion posts made with very old software that caused every post to have its own URL. Actually we didn't remove all of them, we kept the tiny percentage that were of high quality. We 301 redirected the removed URLs to the most relevant posts where possible.
- Stopped posting press releases: for the last two months all news items have been totally original, prior to that the majority were 'copy & paste' jobs from press releases. We post approximately 10 new original articles every week.
- Escalated brand marketing via Social Media: we didn't ask or beg, we just pumped out high quality content and people shared on Facebook and re-tweeted of their own accord.
- We did not remove any advertisements. We use Google DFP and Adsense. Actually we had a slight increase in advertising by adding some text link units - our Adsense Reps are relentless in asking us to put more advertising units on.
As of the latest Panda update we have recovered our SERPS for all our major search terms.
This represents a return to 80% of the Google organic traffic we had prior to Panda 1.0. The reason for a less than 100% recovery is due to us removing such a large number of pages - we have lost that part of our long tail.
I'm posting this information to help other webmasters who are struggling like us to cope with all the changes.
We are continuing to make improvements we already had planned - we are not assuming this Panda penalty removal will last, we want to be ahead Google algorithm updates - Panda or otherwise.
If you have any questions please post them here and I will try to respond.