Sgt_Kickaxe - 10:14 pm on Dec 26, 2012 (gmt 0)
11 days after completing the changes to make the site function as it should Google has seen fit to reduce traffic by 80%.
- Number of indexed pages remains unchanged
- The pages indexed are the same
- Rankings: same rank as before though now only appearing 20% of the time
All of my indexed pages had a 301 from the version that contained index.php and returning a 404 for those urls instead of a 301 has decimated traffic.
I do not plan on changing anything further for Google's sake, I return 404 on non-existant urls(that aren't even indexed) as I should so it will be interesting to see if the 80% returns after a Panda update or two.
IF that's what happens, to me, it will suggest that you can make changes which hurt your rank quickly but not changes that can help it quickly.