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Technique to Overcome Panda - What Do You Think?

3:58 am on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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One of my main site was affected by Panda in 2011. Since then, I haven't really worked my butt off to bring it back.

Today, however, when I knew my competitor managed to kick Panda in its nuts and is now enjoying 50k pageviews everyday, I was totally surprised... or, let's say, pumped up to work harder!

Some of my blogging friends are following similar strategy too, which are outlined below.

WordPress tags: “Noindex, follow.” This makes sense, as tags are basically auto-generated content.

About, Privacy and Contact page:
If they are in the footer, noindex and nofollow them.

Header: Nofollow the header, as this is visible on every page. I am shocked! Should I implement this technique?

Old articles: Articles that are thin and has content less than 100 words, noindex, follow them.

WordPress Categories: Follow the tag strategy — noindex, follow them.

Note: I have checked 4-5 websites, and many of them are following this pattern post-Panda.

Basically, apart from posts, everything is either noindexed and/or nofollowed.

What are your thoughts?

I remember Matt Cutts saying not to nofollow any of the internal links back in 2009 ( video: [youtube.com...] ) But these guys are adding noindex along with nofollow on About and Contact pages.

Eager to hear your opinion!

[edited by: tedster at 5:12 am (utc) on Mar 3, 2013]
[edit reason] make link clickable [/edit]

7:14 am on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

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But these guys are adding noindex along with nofollow on About and Contact pages.

Noindex makes sense on that type of page, nofollow does not. It used to work towards sculpting pagerank but it's no longer effective at that so I would stick with noindex only.

I wouldn't nofollow the link home either, which is what I assume you mean by "the header", unless you have another link home elsewhere on the page.
7:54 am on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Sgt_Kickaxe - You are right -- header has logo and links to the homepage.

As we are noindexing About, etc. pages, would it make sense to link these pages through the homepage's footer? Example:

"About | Contact | Privacy"

Also: Should we link them naturally, or add a rel="noindex" tag every time when we link these pages from other posts/pages?

I figured some of them have noindexed About and other pages, but they have added a rel="nofollow" when linking it through the homepage and other internal pages. All these technicalities are only causing confusion!
1:56 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I never would put nofollow on an internal link; the only time I use it is for affiliate links.

I noindex my privacy policy and any search results pages, but everything else I certainly index.
4:24 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Do you think it's better to try and 'game Google' or just use the tags and HTML markup the way it's supposed to be used?

Personally, I've had the best success by just doing things the way they're supposed to be done.

* That said, I do use noindex when I feel it's best to not worry about certain pages generating traffic but would still like to have them available for the internal use of visitors. But if I have pages that I don't see as useful for visitors then they don't even get the noindex directive, they get the delete button. (What I mean is when get to a page and even have to think "do I really want to find this page, seriously?" it usually gets deleted, cause having to ask the question is usually the answer to the question.)

** The "internal nofollows" are just misguided attempts to game/sculpt PageRank and I'd personally stay away from them, cause at best it's a "nothing factor" that won't help a bit and at worst it'll hurt. The biggest reason I'd stay away though is: who knows when Google will decide to change from "doesn't hurt" to "tank the gamers" and leave a bunch of people scratching their heads about why they don't rank any more.
4:51 pm on Mar 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Tried exactly this with a forum, no index category's, thin topics etc.

Made zero difference.

The thing with panda and penguin, your site may have no issue, the sites that link to you could.

Many cases of panda demotions I've seen could simply be fixed with some better backlinks.

If you have a weak backlink profile, I'd look at that as well as cleaning up the site.

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