shallow - 6:17 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
dataguy, thanks for sharing your story. It is very similar to mine soI feel your pain.
Panda hit my site hard, cutting traffic in half and income remains down 50-60% from the previous year. I have no expectations that it will get any better, I just hope it doesn't get worse.
I made a nice income before Panda for years, not a killing, but enough to help pay my bills and afford some extras. The AdSense team had kind of puffed me up: suggesting optimal placement of ads, getting my site featured (along with a few others) on a major national (U.S) TV show, and in articles in some respected national publications.
Since I am neither a web developer nor web designer, I spent A LOT of money having my site updated and redesigned.
Those days are over.
I'm not convinced that the cost to tweak my site would guarantee an increase in traffic. Neither am I convinced anyone really knows what to do to help my site recover, at least not without spending more money than I make.
Fortunately, I'm making just enough money to keep my site going, but the enthusiasm is gone. I've cut back expenses and my time working on the site, just writing enough articles so it doesn't die altogether.
My husband and I have run several small businesses during our lifetime. I know enough about small businesses to realize that some just don't make it. But other than a fire or act of nature, you can usually see that a business is in a dying mode and plan accordingly.
But to be cut off at the knees unexpectedly in one day, well....I'll just hold my comments.