I think the changes we are seeing are panda related, but I'm not sure they've 'settled' yet. I was affected by the Oct. 13 panda iteration and after lots of work on the site am currently seeing what looks like at least a partial recovery, with unique visitors up 25% since Jan. 3 vs. same period in December. October 2011
A site of mine lost a little over 10% of its traffic following the Oct. 13 iteration, coming off steady growth in the prior 2-3 months. Adsense revenue dropped by almost 20%. While the drop I experienced wasn't as dramatic as what other folks have reported, I am fairly certain it is panda related because of the timing of the change and the selective nature with which it affected pages on my site.
After reading SnowMan68's comment, I was reminded that I changed the adsense code on my site in the beginning of Oct from my personal account to my business adsense account. Can anyone speak to how google might treat sites that signal a change in ownership?
I spent the second half of Oct. and all of Nov. doing the following:
- fixing lots of technical and duplicate content problems related to Joomla URL generation (and the flawed way that I implemented Joomla in the first place)
- added canonical tags
- noindexed the entire forum
- removed ad units
- sped up my site load speed by 100%
- a host of other fixes, changes, and improvements.
I didn't rewrite any content on the site except for one page that was hit especially hard. I wanted to test Content_ed's rewrite strategy from this thread: [webmasterworld.com
], so I did a word for word, line by line total rewrite. I posted the rewrite on the night of 1/1/2012, while all of my other work was wrapped up by the beginning of December. I didn't remove any content from the site or noindex any pages except for the forum.
To give you an idea of the size of my site, prior to noindexing the forum a site:mydomain.com search showed approx. 23,000 pages indexed. Today the same search shows about 5,000 pages indexed, and this decreases every week. Aside from the forum, there are about 1,500 pages that range in length from 100 words to 3500 words, not including comments (some pages have as many as 500+ comments).
I've kept a detailed log of all of the work that I did to the site since Oct. 13, as well as GWT reports and other stats for this time period and am going to put it together in a report on my panda related efforts after I've removed any way to identify my site from the data... If forum rules permit, I'll post a link to it when I get it finished. January 2012
I started seeing significant changes in rankings as well as a surge in traffic as early as Jan. 1, which was particularly surprising since this site's traffic falls off the map on Sundays and on holidays (New Years Day was on Sunday, fyi...)
On Jan. 3 this site hit an all time high for unique visitors, and has hit numerous milestones in other traffic related metrics since then - including a new all time high for unique visitors on Jan. 17. Interesting Traffic Pattern Change
Normally the site's highest traffic is on Monday and each successive day's traffic is lower than the previous day's traffic. This site's traffic follows this pattern like clockwork, barring holidays. In the week beginning Monday Jan. 9, however, Thursday was higher than Wednesday, and almost as high as Tuesday. Beyond this being a rare and interesting deviation from a very reliable pattern, I'm not sure what to make of this.
I'm not ready to claim a victory or say that I've reversed the effects of Oct. 13 because some of the early January ranking changes are still in flux and I don't think these changes have 'settled'. On balance, I do think my rankings and traffic will end up showing a net improvement for January 2012 over December 2011.
It is very important to note that this site also hit a new all time high for unique visitors on Oct. 3, which I think gives some evidence to some of the theories out there about how Panda works. Traffic Increase
Unique visitors are up by about 25% for the period of Jan 3, 2012 - Jan 18, 2012 compared to Dec 3, 2011 - Dec 18, 2011. Position Changes
Using DirigoDev's methodology of summing keyword position increases and decreases:
Dec 12, 2011 to Jan 11, 2012
In this period about 75% of my top 100 keywords had a change in position, with the range being from -3.0 to +5.0. Thank You!
I'd like to give a big thanks to all the folks here that share their observations and theories and experiences. I've been following the panda updates from the beginning, but it wasn't until I felt the effects in Oct. that I really dug into it on a nuts and bolts level - and the discussions here at WW have been the best that I can find, and have been crucial to guiding my efforts to recover from panda.