getcooking - 7:51 pm on Aug 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
If you've done this before how did it go?
My site (US, content site) was hit with Panda 1.0. Between the initial hit and every single subsequent update dinging us down further, by May of this year we'd lost 60% of our traffic. In May I decided to bite the bullet and start noindexing pages. I had been hesitant to do it previously because I was trying to hold on to any bit of revenue I could. It was only a certain type of page on the site that was Pandalized so I started analyzing them to see which were getting traffic from Google (and for what terms). Anything that wasn't ranking well got noindexed. This ended up being about 2K pages (out of 3500).
Beginning with the June 2012 Panda updates we started seeing improvements (both June updates and July's). We've now recovered about 15% of our lost traffic. I haven't really made any other significant changes since May - while I don't have proof that noindexing is what brought about the small recovery, it seems like it must have been.
The remaining Pandalized pages on the site are in the process of being improved. They rank well enough that they get traffic but they don't rank where they did pre-Panda, so my goal is to improve them the best I can, then go back and improve the pages that have been noindexed. Once a noindexed page has been improved I will wait until it's been spidered with the changes (I am tracking that and will do testing to see what amount of time seems right) before removing the noindex tag.