Content_ed - 2:44 pm on Jan 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
Something is happening this week, even though it's not a Panda update. Both of the destination sites for the 301'd pages have been rising since Monday. The larger site, the pre-existing one I started the experiment with by moving a dozen pages there, is now at record levels.
But more interesting is the collection of 30 or so pages I 301'd to the site that wasn't used pre-Panda. Those pages had only recovered to around 2/3 of pre-Panda levels, as of yesterday their Google traffic was at 100% pre-Panda, following two days of double digit gains. Their overall traffic is still a little short of pre-Panda because they are getting zero visitors from Bing/Yahoo.
Yes, you are both stating the obvious and missing something, but it looks like your post was moved here so maybe you haven't read the thread. The point of the experiment is to see whether Panda will penalize the 301'd pages when it updates. That's why I moved individual pages rather than the whole domain. Rather than theorizing what Google may or may not do, I'm running a test to find out.
For all I know the promotion this week may be a feint before slamming the sites. And there's no reason to assume that you would see the same results if you were moving a bunch of crummy content with lousy SEO links. The pages in this experiment, and the sites they were moved from, show none of the characteristics Google claimed to be targeting in Panda.