We recently ran an interview with Dani Horowitz, who runs Daniweb, an IT discussion forum that got pounded by Google's Panda update. Horowitz told us about some things she's been doing to the site, which have led to a consistent uptick in search traffic post-Panda.
While nobody ever claimed the site had gone through a full recovery, we had seen other stories about some sites hit by Panda getting some search traffic back. While Dani noted, “We’re still nowhere near where we were before," she said she was seeing improvements week after week.
The main takeaway from the discussion was that there is hope if you've been hit by Panda. You can still do things that help your content rank better. Google has openly discussed some of them.
Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable polled his readers to see how many have experienced recovery from the Panda update. Over 500 responded, and 4% said they have recovered fully, while another 8% said they've recovered, but not fully.
Image credit: Search Engine Roundtable
Obviously this is not representative of the entire web and how sites have performed in Google. It's a simple poll of 500 people who presumably pay fairly close attention to the search industry. You also have to take into consideration that a lot of people think they were hit by Panda, but may have actually been hit by other less-publicized updates.
Either way, it's likely accurate in that the majority sites hit have not recovered. If most sites recovered, it would be indicative that Google had not done its job very well. Either that or that tons of low quality content sites have shifted dramatically in favor of truly great content.