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Thread: Panda 4.0

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    318

    Default Panda 4.0

    Hello,

    Unless this has already been done (and feel free to link me to it, so I can chime in there) I thought I would start a Panda 4.0 thread. Very surprisingly to me, my site got hit hard by Panda 4.0 , and a large part of me is still trying to figure out why. My site is not spammy, it has quality content, and except for not being mobile user friendly (pre Panda 4.0...site is now Mobile friendly, except still trying to fix a header issue) I thought my site was doing pretty well.

    Since we got hit (I say we, because me and another person work on the site) our traffic has dropped by around 60% , and has not recovered as of yet. Some of the keywords we rank for kind of did a small comeback thing, for a day or two this last week, and then dropped again lower. We have been #1 for our main keyword, for well over a year, and at the moment are sitting at #5. I have to admit the whole thing has been a bit depressing, and I love the site, so it has been hard to see it hit like this.

    Interestingly enough before this happened, and still now I have really been switching my focus for the site and my overall thinking about how to run blogs, or sites in general. I feel taken by surprise that we got hit this hard right when I was in the middle of a huge shift of thinking, and so I have had to deal with feeling a bit burned out by all of this. I have worked incredibly hard on our website/blog (it is kind of a hybrid) , and if anything I thought an algorithm update like Panda would of favored us.

    Since before and also after my complete focus and view on my site has changed. I said the words before, and I understood them the best that I could at the time, but I truly understand now that my site is here to help those that come to it to look for something. I know that I need to build a community, continue to build an email list, and create lots of content that will be helpful to those who come looking for it.

    My entire focus has changed to, how can I make the experience on my site a good one for anyone coming and especially so that they find what they are looking for. Besides... that is really what my site is there for. To help people. I also need to get value for the time I spend there too, but I am not going to get this by hard selling, or focusing all of the time on how I can squeeze more money out of the site.

    I am not really sure if this came up and inspired me because of , Panda 4.0 , or just because it was time for me to grow in this area. I am not saying I was only focused on making money from my site, not by a long shot. I love my site, and I am into the topic it covers. It is just that I feel like I have peeled another layer of the onion so to speak, and really get what this is all about.

    Without focusing heavily on results I need to provide value for the people coming to my site. To me I can see my site like a store that someone might go to physically, and if I were to look someone in the face while they asked me a question, I would do my best to help them find what they were looking for, whether I offered it or not. (More reason to work on offering it).

    Anyhow... I do know that many had a good experience with Panda 4.0 , as I have read quite a bit about the whole thing. I also know others like me who have not.

    Some of what I talked about above is what I am changing with my site, and my entire approach. I have already switched my site over so that it is mobile responsive, am going through all of my posts and pages to be sure they all have meta descriptions and meta titles, am going through all of them to make them better and more personal, Looking them over to be sure they do not appear to be "keyword stuffing", working on new content that will offer more information to my audience, and building our social media presence.

    On top of this for the well being of our site, and to make it more ours and real so that in the future if we face the same thing we are ready I am building our email list even more, working on a huge free product to offer up, engaging and becoming more readily available to people who ask questions and anyone who may be interested in our topic (this all has the side effect of feeling really good actually, as I feel like I am closer to the site, and am able to show the real care I have for our audience...good bonus stuff!), and have a ton of future projects to work on which can only be good for the site.

    So... I do know that many had a good experience with Panda 4.0 , as I have read quite a bit about the whole thing. I also know others like me have not. After all of my intro there, I really wanted to start a thread we could keep running here to discuss what everyone else's experience with Panda 4.0 has been, and what you are all doing to either better your site or continue to grow it.

    If you have made specific changes and they seemed to have a good result, what are they? What are you doing so that you do not have to worry about another one of these algorithms knocking you down? What I said above is part of what I am doing, and it is interesting how many times I have heard the words of others and also Lisa Irby's words echo as I am making these changes. I feel like I am understanding something in a new way, and I know with or without Google's help it will only make my site better. I must say though in all honesty, I would really like more of Google's help back, as our traffic dumped by a large number...lol. Anyhow thanks for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to hearing your experience, sharing our trials and errors as well as ups and downs, and learning as much as I can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England
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    1,647

    Default

    Are you sure you got "hit" as you put it? Maybe some other sites are simply out ranking or out classing yours? I have noticed some traffic reductions on one site recently, although it was in the middle of migrating the site at the time and made some mistakes with redirecting the old permalinks, so I am not sure.

    But honestly, worrying about Google thinks about my sites is starting to "do my head in" and I think it is easier to please real people than the Google corporation. Social media signals and social media back links as well as old fashioned back links is where it's at, I think.
    Last edited by Darren; 06-11-2014 at 04:03 AM. Reason: Spelling on iPad

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    318

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    I am positive we got hit...It happened precisely on May 20th, which is when Panda 4.0 rolled out. Either that or it helped a whole lot of other sites outrank us. Either way same result.

    Yeah went from getting between 2,400 to 4,200 visitors a day pre May 20th to 1,100 to 1,700 visitors a day since May 20th. I also am working on not worrying about what google thinks about my site, but it is hard when it has affected our traffic by that much. I also can tell that we are not ranking for as many converting keywords, or at least got hit in that area because sale's of our eBook have dropped to zero since then.

    Yeah I know most people would think with at least 1,000 visits a day you would sale an eBook or two, but specific traffic type is important.

    I am with you completely as I am working to make my site more pleasing for real people than Google. Maybe this will have the result of doing both, but in the long run know and understand much better who it is there for, and my focus has changed completely on how to help the people that do show up.

    I guess my attention was sort of split before, and about a month or so ago that changed. Strange that this change happened right before this Panda 4.0 thing happened, but I guess I was ready to learn this life lesson. It still leaves anxiety inside of me as we just made a move across the states, and based some of our capabilities on the income from this site. I know income from a website is never completely stable, but damn it had been at least within a specific range for many months. The timing of showing up here, spending what we did to move, and then Panda 4.0 immediately hitting, was unfortunate.

    Hard to focus on giving, giving, and giving more when you are losing, losing, and losing more. Been in this situation many times in my life where it is all hitting the bone directly, and you feel every bit of it, just wasn't expecting it to happen right at this time, and so quick.

    Nevertheless I am learning the lesson, and whether it is difficult some days or not, our website is here to help real people. Whether I reach 1,000, 4,000, or 10,000 a day I know that it feels right to do it the right way, and focus on the people that show up seeking the info we say that we have.

    The reason I started doing this website thing was because I could not stand going out and working for companies, or corporations I did not believe in. I couldn't stand having to "suit up" every day, live check to check, and be owned by them. I wanted to build something that was mine and would reflect me, or an aspect of me. I just know now what this really means. I am ready to really live this, whatever ups and downs come. I really just hope that there are more of the ups, than the downs, because this last month has been rough on the ole psyche.

    PS: I enjoyed your Small Business Content Marketing Ideas blog post. Nice to be able to watch videos here again also, we finally have unlimited send and receive net again!
    Last edited by Seanguy75; 06-10-2014 at 07:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    14,979

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    Hey Sean,

    Sorry to hear about that.

    I am hearing so many stories across the board with Panda 4.0. Some people recovered completely or partially from other Panda updates and many got hit like you. And in true Google fashion over the past few years, there is no pattern when you compare who did and didn't get hit so they've made it very tricky to figure out why.

    Some people Author Rank played a bigger role in this update but I think people are just guessing.

    I agree with what you said, though, about focusing totally on the user experience. If you do that, your natural link profile will improve, which could have a more positive impact on your site in the long run.

    Just look at this as an opportunity to try something new. You also seem to be the kind of person who likes to experiment and try new things so no doubt you'll be fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    318

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    Thanks Lisa,

    Yeah I was partially wondering about author rank, but mainly because I just linked my author rank to a new blog I was working on. They are about two different subjects, and I was wondering if this could be harmful to my author rating. Do you have your google author name tied into different sites, about different subjects?

    I am glad that this shift in how I view my websites/blogs has happened at this time. Focusing on the user experience should always be what it is about. Funny because by doing just that, I imagine that is also a better way to get the search engine's attention as well.

    In my better moments, which are staying with me more frequently, I am seeing this completely as an opportunity to do things in a different way. The way that will make me and the people that show up on any site I run happier. Appreciate the encouragement, and I definitely am feeling good about moving in a new direction.

    We do not live in a static world, and the one thing that always remains the same is change. However, I do see a constant strand running through it all, and that is offering up value to people. We are ourselves, but are also what we offer to others. Hopefully I will also have some positive rebound news in the future, or at minimum how I managed to grow despite all of this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    169

    Default

    I just linked my author rank to a new blog I was working on. They are about two different subjects, and I was wondering if this could be harmful to my author rating.
    Actually I believe it's the other way around. As you connect your author link to different sites and posts around the web, your author rank should improve providing its not spammy or junk content. My author link is attached to Hubpages, Squidoo, Ezine, Yahoo Voices, and others.

    I think if you connect websites together that are unrelated is where you can encounter problems with rank and search results with Google.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    14,979

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    Shea is right. It's nothing about being niche with your author rank, it's just a measure of how well your articles are received that are connected to your name. So it doesn't matter if they are on different topics.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    318

    Default

    This is good to know about the author rank stuff, because it was bugging me. There are so many things to consider when it comes to our websites, and it never does not surprise me at how many little issues can be missed that many people would simply have no clue about (including myself).

    Nice to know I can check that off the list.

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