freejung even if you are right, then why would I have sites in the same industry with good bounce rates panda'd and other ones with worse bounce rates that are fine?
Because it's not the only factor.
Let me clarify: I'm not trying to say that I know what Google is doing. I'm just trying to refute what I see as a spurious argument about what they can or can't
do if they choose.
People keep saying that Google can't be using behavioral metrics such as bounce rate, time on site etc because those signals are too noisy or hard to measure or there are counterexamples or people might bounce because they found what they're looking for or because not everyone uses GA, etc. IMO none of those arguments are valid, for the reasons I mentioned above. That doesn't mean Google is
using these signals. What I mean is that these arguments don't rule out the possibility.
Google actually somehow inferred that the info was to noisy to use
"When I say something, that's implying. How you take it, that's inferring." - (I believe that's a quote from Dennis Quaid in D.O.A. but I can't seem to find it in Google ;-). Sorry, that's one of my pet peeves...)
Just because they implied
that at some point doesn't make it true.
it's content you should be looking at to fix
Yes, of course. The question is whether to focus exclusively
on improving the quality of your text content, or to also spend time on other things that might improve user engagement. I'm inclined to spend some time on the latter regardless, as it improves my site. My pandalized site is an image site. I really don't think my users give a da** about the quality of my text content. They're there for the pics. I spent quite a bit of time in the past few weeks making significant improvements to my download process. That has no impact whatsoever on the quality of my text content, but it makes the site a lot better for my users and is therefore a good thing IMO regardless of what Google is or is not using. However, it would suck if this has no impact at all on Google's assessment of the site, because it definitely impacts the site's actual value to the user.
Anyway, my point is that this issue does matter, because improving the quality of your text content is not the only thing you can do to improve your site.
Main cause: duplicate, copied, similar or thin content. End of story.
I just find it hard to believe it's that simple. Every time someone has come out and said "it's all down to x" we find lots of counterexamples and contradicting evidence. I seriously doubt it's all down to any one particular factor. I think the most plausible explanation is that Panda is a machine learning algo which was allowed to range over a very large dataset, probably including most of the metrics we've thought of and quite a few that we haven't. That would include on-page content, layout, internal and external link structure, and user behavior metrics.
If you got pandalized, it's probably due to a combination of several of these factors, and you'll probably have to make improvements along several different dimensions to improve your ranking. I think it's a mistake to focus exclusively on one particular factor, as you might miss other major problems with your site.
In my case, I asked a lot of people questions about my site and learned that my download process pretty much sucked, so I fixed it. That was only a few days ago and I haven't seen significant impact from it, but of course that's to be expected... anyway, we'll see. I just don't think it's limited to any one particular thing.