My third attempt at getting away from the original Panda. Thanks to some extremely useful suggestions, I have finished a four week review and changes of the site in question.
Remove or condense pages written in the 2010 period (some older pages as well). Most were written for an expansion of subject matter, while some were in reaction to Ehow sticking to the top of the SERPS for many subjects I am very familiar with professionally. See, unlike most Ehow writers, some of us actually have the real life experience to expound on a subject.
Pages that had poor user numbers (time on page less than 60 seconds) were either removed completely or consolidated to other pages within the site that are of context. Nearly all of these pages were also only visible past page three of the Google SERPS. This resulted in a reduction of 27% which now shows total pages on site at 276.
Improved navigation for both Google (better understanding of the site overall) and the visitor.
Inverted L navigation, which I thought was a brilliant suggestion and I thought visitor numbers would show great improvement. Previously the site had left side navigation where only 27% was visible above the fold (1270 x 768). Adding in related page links at the end of each subject page and that number was more like 20- 24%.
All page links are now visible above the fold. Average visit duration (AVD) is showing an overall 26% increase, but page views per visitors (PVV) has actually declined 27%. This really has me baffled. I cannot figure out why. The only reason I can come up with is a decent number actually made it to the bottom of these pages previously.
Solution? Insert anchor point “see related links” at the bottom of every page? This would direct visitors to the top of the page, or in full view of the current related page links area.
Lousy Numbers: Landing Pages
Bounce rate increasing - + 12%
PVV landing page - 17%
AVD - 19%
Very Positive Numbers: Site Content/Overview/All Pages
Top 10 pages on the site are showing AVD increases form 30 to 200%. Nine increases and one basically flat.
I am crossing my fingers and feet hoping that Google will reward my efforts and return the site to a meaningful position in the SERPS. I truly believe the site now rises above the competition. Unfortunately the competition since Panda has become big brands. I’ll be happy with a small piece of the pie nowadays instead of crumbs:) Besides, I have been working on plans that do not depend on survival from free web traffic.
Meaningful to the point I can again feel proud of something unique.