My website was hit by Panda last october. It lost 50% traffic.
It recovered totally from it, not on 19th, but on 20th.
It was previously hit on august, when Panda was rolled for the world. I lost then 20% of traffic.
The website : small targeted website, wordpress based. It is small (less than 100 pages), but with 2K targeted visits per day. It has lots of Adsense (and few affiliation), but not above "only" above the fold, users don't need to scroll to start reading content.
the actions, after first panda on august :
- branding. I did create a brand. Logically, I changed domain name, with 301. Old pages redirected to new ones. We were then in october.
- "duplicate themes" . It's not duplicated content, but instead duplicated pages, targeting same keywords. Instead of having URL A and URL B targeting KEYWORD 1, I merged CONTENT URL A with CONTENT URL B (choosing one of those URLs).
- Redesigned completely the website. Less ads above the fold.
- purging wordpress comments > using disqus instead
Panda big hit on november > maybe because of this completely new URL. Less links, more errors (bad 301s...).
What I did after this catastrophy :
- new links
- completely sweap GWT errors.
- removing disqus.
- limiting wordpress comments to the last 20 instead.
All the time : always improving design (trying to have more pageviews, speeding loading time...).
And many more improving things that I don't remember.
It finally worked. What was the main difference?
I think the first panda hit on august was unfair and illogical. I did many irrational things at that time, that could eventually penalise me, but with patience, it would be fine. So that's what I thought.
The second hit on november was legitimate, because of the new brand, new domain and a lot of errors in 301s and 404.
I can not tell you what i think matters the most to recover from panda here. Maybe the rebranding? Maybe the new design? Maybe the comments? Maybe the links? Maybe my duplicated "themes" ? I don't honestly know. Maybe everything :)