Hi, I reckon my Panda story is a little bit different… I don’t know why, … Anyway, I was originally affected by the debacle of Panda beginning in April of 11, (it was Apr. 21st when Google turned off the taps), though the SBI stats barely show a blip because it was end of the month. Daily traffic from Google was gone, and SBI went from approx. 400 per day to half that.
I knuckled down in May/June to sort out the issues of my site (too many pages with duplicate content from popshops/Amazon, too many C2 pages of no value, and an overhaul of the weaker points of my site). There wasn’t a A&R report to read at the time, just some general tips & conclusions… I minimized the duplicate content (still have some words/phrases/etc. from articles at EZA that I also wrote)…
Traffic finally recovered at the end of July, and this lasted from July 26th to October 13th when traffic went back to the previous levels Panda levels. It’s hard to put a number … as the monthly figures don’t show the stats clearly. Traffic went back to 400~500 per day (visitors), before going through the floor again down by ~30%.
In November, I got really ticked off with Google, I know there are things wrong with my site, but I challenge ANYONE (esp. Google!) to claim their site is perfect! Really! So I embarked on a much different strategy as well as polishing my site: I started building links to my site from relevant communities, blogs, forums, relevant profiles, etc, etc. I stopped using EZA completely (which I think is a waste of time, as are many other ‘traditional’ backlink building techniques,..) I started to follow where the people actually were, not where Google thinks they are (this was before +1)…
Since then my SEHQ ranking has jumped to over 40+, and much of my traffic has returned. I’m not seeing regular 500+ days yet, though. But total page views are up by 25% since February. More importantly, I’ve also decided that I don’t really want to be Google’s business partner, and now look for an audience on a number of other platforms: including Podcasts, Youtube/Video, PDFs, and have even toyed with using several other avenues.
It’s been a long haul, but I’ve realized that I am going to have to brand my coffee site in people’s minds. It’s the only way to beat Google. But during each Google Attack, I still added pages. And during Google’s Kinder Periods, I added a bunch of pages. So my site shot up from about 120 pages in April to 150 in November (I only work P/T on the site… and the site is still growing!). I’ve also built over 100 C2 comments in my site (mostly merged… and perhaps something I’ve come to regret!)… It’s now around 165 pages.
But I’ve done one other thing: I’ve started targeting pages for new content that have relatively low VD but ridiculously RS and not that many searches. I figure that Google can do what it wants on the top listings, but choosing keywords where competition is very little, it won’t matter. By focusing on bringing real people to my site, and creating media across the spectrum, I’ll be able to build a brand for my site that Google can’t ignore.
Ultimately, I’m not in business for Google, I’m in business to connect people with good coffee. And if I manage that, then I’ll be happy, my site will be a successful, and perhaps I’ll even make some money from it. So my policy is now: Keep polishing the site, Build My Brand, Find the People, and Ignore the Noise.