Donna - 4:50 am on Dec 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
Do you think if I cut down the amount of affiliate links....that will "de pandilize" that webpage?
So far from my findings Affiliate links does not hurt , and it seems to be site wide penalty on thin/dupe content and or positioning of the content and amount of it . Now I have no definition of what thin or dupe content and how much of it counts negative .
Now I will share my case study on one of my affiliated websites Oct 14-15 Pandalization (before that ranking well):
Oct 14th total links indexed 3500, All ranks dropped if not at 950+. Some snippets could be found in SERPs some couldn't including same keywords.(Possibly discards OOP). All pages other then main page got N/A PR if it maters.
Oct 15-17 noindex all review pages and deindexed my forum a week later , removed H1 tags and xml maps. That's all .
Oct 25-27 Major UI overhaul All my affiliate links are above the fold (discounts the ads claim at least for me )!
Dec 3rd pages indexed 700 only , same day site comes back to same pre Oct 14 rankings. All pages back to Regular PR.
Dec 5th under 600 indexed.( Will keep you up to date if anything improves the more I lower the indexed pages.
Been checking longs for manual reviews , could not find any funny business IPs from google.
One more interesting thing I noticed which might help you out pinpoint issues : Webmasters Tools : Keywords : check top 3 keywords you have listed : Around Oct 14-16 my top 3 stopped including my main page , Dec 3-5 main page was again on top for each of the keywords.
First I thought its another OOP but then I found out the panda tweet and all the commotion. Prior to that date no aggressive link building or any onsite optimization. Not dancing for sure.
My conclusions :
If it was a panda hit which I think it was reduce indexed or useless content , don't kill your ads as that will change eventually your overall website profile in google's eyes. Zoning is actually important as I stated previously in another post, noticed some funky stuff on one other website of mine experimenting currently with it. Dynamic website are having very very tough luck right now compare to static pages another issue you might look into. It took me 3 weeks to recover .So far its been 4 days with same old results pre Oct 14th.
Please share similar activities it will help many pinpoint problems . Different niches seems to be treated differently .
P.S. Never been Pandalized on any of my websites prior to the 14th of Oct.
P.S.S If I open the floodgates I could easily have more than 10k pages indexed but at what cost.