20 Months Later A Panda Victim Continues To Fail

Nov 14, 2012 • 8:49 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Panda RumorsI've covered several Google Panda stories in the past. And now that we are over 20 months into Panda with 21 different updates to Panda, it is not uncommon to see sites recover.

But in one case, one webmaster, simply cannot recover. A Google Webmaster Help thread has one such story. It starts off as "almost 2 years of full-time work could not save a popular car reviews site from the Panda algorithm."

He then lists all the reasons his site was hit by Panda. They include:

1. The quality of the writing and moderation was variable, as is often the case with forums/user generated content sites.

2. The custom CMS made no sensible attempt to deal with thin content such as very short reviews.

3. The ad layout was too heavy, and also slightly unconventional (ads on both sides of the page).

4. The lack of threaded comments had resulted in duplicate content issues, due to people quoting previous comments in their replies.

5. There were a lot of thin navigation pages, as there were several alternative ways to navigate the site.

6. The look and feel of the site was quite dated.

Then he lists out 18 large things he tried over the past 20 months to recover from Panda and he said non of them helped.

It is an interesting story with a lot of transparency that many can learn from. You can read the whole thing at the Google Webmaster Help thread.

For our past stories see:

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Alex Genadinik

11/14/2012 01:59 pm

I quit SEO and AdSense because of Panda and all their other penalties and mistreatment of webmasters. They really treat webmasters like second class citizens.


11/14/2012 05:26 pm

I got hit by panda about a year ago. I was shocked because I have a blog and I put up at least 3 blogs every week and they are all unique because I write them all by myself. at that time I didnt know what to do so I did nothing because I had done nothing wrong to get hit by panda. It's been a year now and about a month ago, I got all my traffic back. It looks like they removed panda penalty from my website. I dont know why because as I said I did nothing for it. I was a huge google fan but I've hated them since than. my website is exactly same as it was a year ago. I didnt change design, I didnt change location of ads, I didnt add any new type of content, just blogs, I didnt do link building etc. So I really want to meet a googler to ask why they stole a year from my website?


11/14/2012 05:40 pm

Where did my comment go?


11/14/2012 06:44 pm

my site has had a major drop in traffic, and I assumed it was panda, but it turns out that a site was linking to me 200 times (in their user forums, because i have a post about their software) and the site is now not there! it took me a while to find, but, thanks to ahrefs.com I now know what the issue is :D I just wish I hadnt wasted so much time trying to fix other things that werent broken!


11/14/2012 07:25 pm

I kinda quite seo too and now make just as much money finding ways to cut out the middle man i.e. google


11/14/2012 08:37 pm

google tell us fix sites, but it not works. now it gives us disavow tool, but i sure it not will work. currently only google allowed to make money, their search engine is joke now.


11/14/2012 09:08 pm

No, you don't.

Craig Hamilton-Parker

11/14/2012 11:06 pm

Can you expand on this please. I have a number of sites linking to mine with 200 odd links to my domain - sometimes from suspect domains. This can happen when innocent people put links in their widget areas on Wordpress though I also suspect some competitors may have tried to sink (successfully) my once top ranking website. Do large numbers of links from other domains that are not mine cause problems and should I disavow them? Yahoo, Wikepedia etc have lots of links so I assumed this was okay to have multiple links. Any advice appreciated.


11/14/2012 11:16 pm

sure, lots of links are good (and the more places that link to you the better), and matt cutts has talked about negative seo quite a lot [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5s992PZAus ]. I think in my case it was just because a site put a link to mine in a footer (boosting my results in the serps) and then that site went away (making my results go back down). I dont think it was devious, just that the total number of good inbound links dropped by a load in a very short time! it seems to be settling a bit now, traffic is slowly coming back :)


11/15/2012 04:10 am

and that is the problem mike. People can do nothing wrong and get hit and then do nothing and recover. We have plenty of SEO experts hanging around here saying you have done something wrong but they only say that to sell their services. What is happening is that Google is a man made algorithm and like anything man made it has flaws.

daniel imbellino

11/15/2012 05:32 am

My sites traffic increased as much as 1000% after Google's Panda and Penguin updates! I think the reason so many people got penalized was because they were producing crap! I made a website for a piano teacher in st louis, and never could get it to come up in organic search because of all the spammers! Now the site scores for 32 sets of keywords, and the piano teacher I made it for is happy as ever. If you got penalized, it was because you were producing garbage to begin with!


11/15/2012 12:57 pm

if dated design were important, Craigslist wouldn't exist on Google. Becoming paranoid is the worst thing that can happen after you get hit with Panda or Penguin and that's exactly what happens. People start seeing problems with everything on their website, changing a whole lot of things...in vain. If they didn't change anything, they would probably recover earlier...


11/15/2012 01:06 pm

Problem with Google Webmaster Help forum is that if you tell them that your website lost ranking (although in reality you lied and your site is fine) they will tell you a ton of reasons why your site lost rankings, meaning that a lot of sites that deserve to be punished according to "experts" from GWH, but in reality they are fine.


11/15/2012 07:17 pm

I guess HilaryEnsues believes that every business in the world depends on google search. The problem is that relying on google for your business is not a sustainable solution.

Ian Mason

11/17/2012 02:24 pm

Your message is an insult to people who actually do produce quality, yet were killed by panda and replaced with spammy pages, and even worse... sites that scraped/copied their original content, and took their place in the rankings.

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