[Editorial] Google Panda Completes 1 Year: A Timeline, Analysis and Suggestions
By on March 4th, 2012

A Case Study And An Honest Analysis

First things first, I am not a search engine optimizer and neither I specialize in Panda recovery techniques. I am not a pinch of those super Probloggers out there, I can’t help your site escape the Panda squash. And I doubt anyone else other than you can.

But I will share a case study of my site which got hit by the Panda 2.0 update and made a partial recovery 2 months back. I will share the things I did and the things I did not do, in order to recover from Panda’s grip. Remember that every website is different and what worked wonders for me, might just be disastrous for your site. Never generalize!

When Panda stuck my site, I instantly lost 70% of the traffic in one shot (by traffic, I mean organic traffic from Google.com). Following subsequent updates and iterations, the organic traffic was highly shaky (40-60%) and I have had nightmares thinking about how to fix this problem. Needless to say, Panda drove my site’s revenue further downhill. Here is a screenshot:

impact-of-panda

Here are the things I did, without having any success at all:

  • I read this story at Digital Inspiration and found myself in the same boat. I deleted all the useless tags, categories and kept only the ones that are essential for site navigation.
  • I deactivated my site’s mobile theme, thinking that it might be giving rise to duplicate content, cloaking and so forth. This doesn’t make any sense now but when your ship is sinking, you have to try every god damned thing!
  • I started filing DMCA’s in bulk, taking down content scrapers, auto posters and spam sites. I used data from Google Webmaster tools and nuked each and every site that copied content from my blog. This was an enormous job but I did not have any other option.
  • I went all guns blazing towards directory sites, killing every duplicate trace of my site’s content from the web.
  • When my original content was outranked by scrapers, I made fun of Google search. Time and again. And again. Until I realized that blaming Google won’t help at all, I have to drink my anger and do something that makes sense.
  • After a few weeks, I realized that I am on a wild goose chase, going nowhere. I hired someone to file DMCA’s on be half of me while devoting time in fixing other site specific issues.
  • No-indexed all the tags, category, archive, author and search result pages. Any page on the site which was not required was deleted. Any feature not exclusive, was forcefully killed.
  • Cleaned up the FTP directory, got rid of junk files and disallowed bots from indexing unnecessary directories of my site.
  • I discoveredthat a lot of my blog posts were shared on Facebook as “Notes”. A majority of these notes were auto –created by myself and in all cases, the visibility of these “Notes” were public. While performing dummy searches in Google, I found that these notes were showing up on search results and my original blog post was no where to be found.Guess what? I killed all the Facebook notes within a week. When I think of this action now, I can’t stop laughing but like I said, “when your ship is sinking, you will throw your arms in every possible direction”.

Until November, nothing significant happened. Traffic had stagnated, nothing was working. I talked with fellow blogger friends and found that none of them have achieved any ground breaking solution to this problem.

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.

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