JS_Harris - 3:56 pm on Aug 2, 2013 (gmt 0)
Has your friend improved the content by adding a few lines of text? I did that and still saw no changes.
He removed very few pages but did merge several similar pages at first. As for the pages he later improved he went far beyond just adding a couple lines of text. He researched the competition, researched the subject more deeply and created the best pages he could.
'If my traffic doesn't come back and I have to stop working on the site at least it can still be useful for a few years'
It's the ranking ceiling, or appearance of a ranking ceiling, keeping him out of the top 4 spots he once enjoyed that I found most noteworthy. Are the top few spots baked in by hand so that you have to wait for human approval to attain them?
- New slower panda rollouts give time for human raters to double check the top results
- I still see occasional spam reach #1, though not very often and never for long