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Site pandalized because of a particular topic?

2:31 am on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My main site, I assume, was hit by Panda last year. Needless to say, it hasn't recovered yet. Despite many changes -- improving content, adding tags for better navigation, and keeping users in mind -- I am yet to see traffic going upwards. This had me thinking though.

I cover various topics in this site -- and write from my own experience. Now, for example, let's say the site has 10 topics. On every topic, I will write news, tutorials, etc.

Consider a topic about torrents (in fact, I have this topic on my main site), and the rest of the topics are technology, gadgets, etc. Can the torrent topic affect the entire site? I assume Google Panda algo flags content that is inappropriate, thus forcing the entire site to rank lower in SERPs.

To be clear, I am not hosting any torrents, or linking to any torrent sites. I am just talking about torrents, and how they are used, etc.

This topic still gets traffic (although there's a drop after Panda) and users find them useful according to the comments, but Google hates them? No? How do I know?
11:04 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If I were you and it's been so long with changes and no results, I would try putting the 10 topics on 10 different subdomains.
11:50 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Are you adding value on all your topics (including torrents) that is significantly better and unique compared to your competitors?

There's a TON of tech sites out there. You don't say how long your site has been around, but it would be pretty tough to carve out a newish authority site, considering what exists now and how long they've been around, and the audiences they already have. You'd have to be pretty unique.

As to whether or not the torrent topic is harming your site - I don't know. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if it were but I'm not sure I'd chalk it up to Panda.
2:44 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@klark0 - 10 was just an example. I have given a thought about moving to subdomains, but I use WordPress CMS, and it is certainly not possible with over 2000 posts.

@netmeg - I believe I am adding value. The site is almost 4 year old and was previously linked by quite a few authoritative sites. The site was pulling about 30k pageviews every day. Now? 70% drop in traffic. Removing these torrent pages can cause a further drop in traffic, and that is certainly not what I want right now.
5:06 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The government and film and music industries have put tremendous pressure on Google to fix piracy, suggesting the search engine ought to somehow magically be able to filter out piracy automatically. Which is absurd, as Google tried to explain, but I'm not sure anyone cared.

Putting some kind of penalty - hopefully a mild one - on the use of certain piracy keywords might be the only way Google has of being able to tell a judge at some future court date, "We did absolutely everything we could."

You could try no-indexing those pages so you're only losing Google traffic from them. You'd still have a drop, but less of one.

Another possibility - and this is totally pulled from my imagination, but I'm just throwing it out there - what if the hypothetical penalty was for links to torrent sites? Since Google can't reliably detect what's a torrent site just by sending a bot, it might penalize any link out that has the word "torrent" as anchor text or in the URL. You could rephrase or delink those links - it may not help anything, but OTOH it shouldn't cost you anything to try.
5:57 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Why sites covering many topics vulnerable to updates more than sites with a single topic?
It has never been proved that merely purging, merging or moving content affect Panda (long term).
However, improving overall content quality certainly has a good impact because the site gets more positive signals and increase its authority.
I see it like this - A certain topic with a good traffic, may push the other topics ahead as long as everything is written well.

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