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Any image-rich and text-poor sites survive Panda?
Maybe a lot of people were effected when panda was released because there poor backlinks finally caught up to them or something else. This is just a theory of course.
You will not be pandalized for having a lot of ads alone. There are other factors (probably many) that go into this. If your site is on the brink of tipping the scaled toward panda and you have poorly placed ads, those ads are what can tip you over the edge.
I have been able to get out of every penalty google has thrown at me.
I suggest you let go of the "penalty" model when it comes to understanding Panda. Yes, Panda does lower rankings for some sites, but it does this as part of the ranking algorithm. A penalty is imposed on top of a ranking score, but Panda is used to GENERATE the ranking score.
The reports we're now seeing about improved rankings support that mental model. One person built new backlinks. Another person removed ads above the fold. Yet another addressed duplicate content issues. And in almost every case of reported success, rankings IMPROVED but they were not "restored" to pre-Panda levels the way they would have been in the case of a true penalty.
if you cant find anything wrong with your site then maybe the best thing to do is just sit it out and wait. we know that google is crawling very old pages (at least a year old) because they are showing up as 404s in WMT.
We haven't really seen reports of more than a single, isolate page recovering or anything though have we? It's not like anyone whose entire site has really improved overall rankings.
I have been improving my site based on everything that I believe could A) improve my site's quality and B) be direct signals of quality in a computer program created by humans.
Just because it's not reported, doesn't mean it hasn't happened.
eHow, which was helped by the update, pays their writers, so their articles don't contain outbound links, which would help balance the in/out ratio. On the flipside, HuffPo which was hurt by the update, adds 'related links' to each of their articles. I don't know of any other news site which does this. This could skew the in/out ratio.