Planet13 - 5:24 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)
I even made the HUGE mistake of going over to G's forums and asking for folks there to give their input.
Why was that a mistake? What sort of advice (aside from the technical error you mentioned) did they give you?
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.
You can, of course, set up some new domains and duplicate the methods of those sites that are currently ranking well post Panda, too. Just don't associate them in any way with your legitimate site(s). Getting a domain name is cheap, wordpress is free, hosting is inexpensive, software to "promote" your site's is affordable (also people can be found to do it for moderate prices as well if you don't have the time / money to use the software).
I feel like - whatever the issue is - it's unfair.
Yes, it is "unfair," which is why it is a bad idea to have a business plan that makes you dependent on something which you have little to no control over. Complaining won't help. Neither will pressing for "government action" help.
also, if it were "fair" you would have a LOT MORE competition. Every mom and pop site that doesn't have a clue about SEO would be ranking above your site.
Just remember that google owes you nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. They aren't in it to support your business. They are in it to make as much money as they can for themselves. That's capitalism 101. Fortunately, for us webmasters, their business model allows us to exploit their services to a certain extent for our own personal gain. If you do SEO, then you are riding the coattails of google, so to speak.
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.
And those are things that SHOULD earn you money and push you to the top of the rankings in the long run.
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
Don't chase the algorithm; chase your customers instead.
Another poster in this forum occasionally reminds me that I need to look carefully at the market place and see where there is a void and fill that void with my sites. That poster is 100% right. I think that if you really look at what people want and what is not available (or what is available but is not easily found due to poor optimization), then you will be on the right track.