acee - 2:52 pm on Dec 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
Oh AlyssaS - if only what you say was true.
For several years, on the few occasions when I've commented on forums, I have expressed my concern that we are dependent on too few search engines. My concern predates Panda!
In the last few years, I haven't really followed SEO trends, so I was actually blissfully unaware of Panda until Oct 14th (FYI). Instead, I've added content and tweaked the site based upon what I see in my referrals, paying virtually no attention to SERPs, because my traffic is mainly long tailed.
In the months leading up to October, I integrated a new supplier database and XML feed, improved the presentation, delivered the XML based info in a unique way which added value for visitors, and added more content and photos from my own trips.
When Panda was released in the UK in April I think my traffic increased a little, but at this point I was unaware of the Panda update program.
As I continued to improve aspects of the site, traffic increased a little more, I eliminated what I felt were low quality referrals, bounce rate dropped substantially, page views per visitor lifted nicely, and conversion improved proportionately.
All the human evidence suggests I was doing several things right, yet when the pedantic Panda burst into my office on Oct 14th and found that I had stuck chewing gum to the underside of my desk it decided that I needed to be punished!
Are you seeing the picture here? Human says yes - Computer says no!
Either visitor metrics aren't worth sh*t or they're being used adversely.
I'm not claiming my site is squeaky clean, but from a users perspective, it's ticking many boxes. I don't make money from clickthru advertising, just bookings, so it's performance based.
In my case the evidence suggests that Panda is at odds with human opinion.
@AlyssaS - 'new business model which is buy a Pandalised website for a knock-down price' - great phrase for people on this thread - I'm sure that will be appreciated!
Perhaps you could point us in the direction of these refurbished sites with big earnings, so that in the true spirit of webmastership, we can learn from our peers.