Reno - 9:29 pm on Feb 26, 2012 (gmt 0)
It would not surprise me if many (if not most) of the participants at this venue utilize some sort of affiliate marketing; and it would not surprise me if many (if not most) of the people who saw a drop in rankings post-Panda utilize affiliate linking.
My question is where did the traffic go? I'm wondering if Google/Panda is simply bypassing the sites with the affiliate links and sending the websurfers directly to the merchants?
So let's say I have an informative site about Blue Widgets and I am an affiliate of the BWInc company; and pre-Panda I got decent traffic from the keyword search "blue widgets". I know my own visitor stats dropped after the Day of Infamy (the Panda Release), so I wonder if, without BWInc doing anything, Google simply leapfrogged me and sent my previous visitors directly onto the merchant?
There is no way for me to prove or disprove that because I have no access to their traffic logs, but I do think it's a reasonable suspicion, given what we have read about the winners & losers in the Panda Wars.