Frost_Angel - 4:53 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)
Yep - our website situations sound similar. I have removed SOOOO many pages and really tried to tighten up my site. But I don't really understand what you mean by "long tail pages". Does that mean pages with long titles?
I did a search for yourdomain.com Keyword - and many results for my site comes up. So does that mean NO penalty and that it is/was Panda that got me.
Gotcha. I feel like I have checked over the site pretty good. But I didn't want to super bore anyone with details on my site. The site WAS in HTML for 11 years. I switched it over into a "test" WP format right before I got hit by Panda. The site LOOKED just like the HTML site but was in WP format - I wanted to test waters before I flipped it totally into WP and a new design. I officially flipped it into the new WP design on Mother's Day in May. Because at that point, it was doing so horrible I felt I had nothing to lose. I also switched the site to a new server right before any of this and the host left an entire copy of my site on the old server and the company re-doing my site design left an entire copy of the WP test site on THEIR server. (Niiiice! And I paid money for this?) But - I explained all this to G in my reconsideration(s).
Yes - SEO people actually looked at my site. I even made the HUGE mistake of going over to G's forums and asking for folks there to give their input. In some ways it was helpful - there was a technical issue I was unaware of - I had a search engine running on my site for my visitors and though I "thought" I was keeping G out - they were indexing these pages - like 70,000 of them! All thin content - my site is only around 315 pages! So I got rid of that search engine quickly.
I also went to GWT and did the fetch thing for my homepage. All looks ok. But will go over it a few more times to be sure.
I feel like - whatever the issue is - it's unfair. And I know everyone says or at least thinks that. But if you saw what WAS ranking in the top 10 for my keyword phrase - you'd feel the same. It's sites that are doing everything that Panda says NOT to do. So for me... you feel a little defeated. And to make matters worse, you're not making any money - so you can't bring in one of these hot shot SEO people because they cost your first kid and a kidney.
But I am trying to figure it out. I feel like there is some good that has come from it all. I update more, my site is more user friendly, I've gone back to basics where money isn't the motivator - it's writing to my audience and having rapport with them. Those are good things.
But I come to WW and read the forums and I swear it makes me more crazy and frantic. I think.... "oh gosh - I should be doing what this person says..." or "I need to remove these 100 pages because they think maybe that could be an issue." It's madness. It's upsetting. Because I'm like a child mimicking my parents and parents aren't always right. LOL
Sometimes I sit here and think... I'll just flip the site back into it's old, ugly, ancient FP 2003 format and see if the site jumps back up.