hairycoo - 1:35 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
I'm as guilty as many other webmasters of getting complacent and reliant on free Google traffic. I got hit in October last year and income dropped by 75%. I still earn enough to sustain my lifestyle but I don't expect this to last for more than a few more months. I'm fortunate as I don't have employees and have some good savings to see me through.
Before Panda though, I was stuck in complacency and routine. I was bored, I wanted to move on but the free traffic and free money kept me trapped, working on my sites. I knew the business model was flawed, I knew I should acquire new skills, broaden my knowledge but all my time was taken up by ticking along by these damn sites, doing the same old boring stuff that a million other websites are doing (and some other personal stuff).
Panda was the kick in the behind I needed. I immediately started to acquire new skills and knowledge, moved offices to be around tech startups for inspiration, started to learn about different business models. I learned more in the last 5 months than in the previous 3 years combined!
I have just now finished the Panda revival plan for one of my sites (I'm abandoning the others, business model just too flawed and outdated), to extract a bit more juice out of Google whilst I plan to move onto something else. The Plan is designed for me to put into practice all this new knowledge and skills, whatever its outcome it will serve me well. I'll give it 6 months during which I'll explore other avenues as well.
The uncertainty of the future is scary, I've never had a "real" job, never did work for clients. I might end up doing that. I don't know where I'll end up but I think Panda will prove to be the best thing that's happened to me.