It has been a long time since Google unleashed Panda on webmasters, a year and a half long.
There were recoveries but were they full recoveries? One of the best examples and most vocal examples of a site hit by Panda that has been through up and downs is DaniWeb. We've covered and mentioned it from time to time. They have said they've recovered but honestly, they have not.
Dani came to the Google Webmaster Help forums to give us an update. She wrote:
Traffic has been increasing over the past few months, and even more over the past few weeks. We're not quite as high as we were at during our absolute peak post-Panda, but we definitely have fully recovered and have close to the most amount of traffic we've ever had before. Activity is also way up.
I do want to admit that I put the welcome modal back up non-registered members. We had it for many years until it was removed as one of the first things we did as part of our Panda recovery. However, it has always performed so well for us in terms of increasing conversions and lowering the bounce rate, so I decided to put it back.
After thinking about it for awhile, I realized that I've been running around with my head cut off trying to do exactly what Google wants from me, at the sacrifice of community growth, just to please them and get traffic from the SERPs. And what do I have to show for it? ... Unpredictable traffic from the SERPs that I can't rely on. Because I'm sacrificing community growth for increased traffic from the SERPs, that means that if G traffic were to disappear tomorrow, I'd have nothing. At least if I do what it takes to keep the community growing steady, then if we lose G traffic tomorrow, we'd still have a strong community. So that's what I've decided to do. And hopefully Google's algorithms will appreciate that our modal leads to community growth and is there for positive reasons ;)
Regardless, community growth is on the rise. Traffic is strong. Overall, no complaints. Hopefully the upcoming Penguin refresh won't make me changing my tune.
My question to the webmaster and SEO community is did you ever see a site hit with Panda not only fully recover but also get more traffic from Google after being hit by Panda? Take my poll:
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for plant