DaniWeb Loses Over Half of Traffic: The Panda is Back.

Google panda update posterchild gets hit again after full recovery

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DaniWeb Loses Over Half of Traffic: The Panda is Back.
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Update: When asked if an iteration of Panda was implemented this week, a Google spokesperson told us, “yes.” She also provided the following statement:

“We’re continuing to iterate on our Panda algorithm as part of our commitment to returning high-quality sites to Google users. This most recent update is one of the roughly 500 changes we make to our ranking algorithms each year.”

If you’ve followed the Google Panda update saga throughout the year, you may recall Dani Horowitz’s story. She runs an IT discussion community called Daniweb, and it was hit hard by the Panda update, but she made a lot of changes, and gradually started to build back some Google cred.

We interviewed in May, and she talked about the kinds of things that she was doing that was helping her get back some of her lost traffic:

In July, she claimed that her site had achieved 110% recovery from Panda, as all the while Google had released various iterations of the Panda update.

Unfortunately for Dani, in what may or may not be the latest iteration, DaniWeb has been hit again, and even harder than the first time.

We got an email from her today in which she told us, “After being hit in February, and fully documenting every change we’ve made, we eventually made a more than complete recovery. We went from averaging 280-290K pageviews (every so often hitting 300K) pre-Panda, to consistently being at 370K post-Panda.”

“However, we were hit again on Wednesday, September 28th, once again losing more than half of our traffic,” she added. “I think this might even be a bigger hit than last time. I am still investigating whether or not this was another iteration of Panda that just went out or something different.”

Apparently, Dani just can’t catch a break, despite all of the work she’s been putting into it (as discussed in the above video).

We’ve asked Google if it has released another iteration of the Panda update. We’ll update if we receive a response. About 10 days ago, we reported on some suspicion that was going around that another Panda update had been released, but Google shot down that theory. We’ll see if that happens this time.

Dani says there is “definite confirmation that we lost all our Google traffic overnight.”

DaniWeb Loses Over Half of Traffic: The Panda is Back.
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  • http://www.PlaceToEatOkay.com Steven

    It’s almost like Google has been on the warpath against good sites while trying to still go after bad sites.

    • http://www.essexportal.co.uk/ Jon

      At lest Daniweb had a recovery before another hit, some people just get hit again and again and again.

      Huge efforts to clean up one of my sites resulted in no changes for the better. Half of content removed, articles edited, new quality checks. Even been approved and certified by another group who checks for quality in websites in my main niche (not the one linked in this comment). But no joy.

      I am starting to think that for me at least the problem is more SEO that site quality. But, if I am wrong it will be a lot more time wasted.

  • AL

    “Good” and “Bad” are relative terms, Steven. Perhaps Google thinks her site is actually a “Bad” one. If so, keeping quiet may be the best thing this time around!

    I’ll be interested to see how Hubpages is (or isn’t) affected after they announced to the world that they were trying out the whole sub-domain strategy.

  • http://newbizshop.com Derek

    OMG. Can’t Google just leave her alone? I’m a lurker at her forum and have learned a few things from lurking around there. Google once again is going to put people out of business and dead broke. I’m not talking about the people who deserve to get hit with poor sites, Google is nailing the good sites. Dinner is ready and i need to get offline for a little bit. :(

  • http://www.idesthost.com Edwin

    DaniWeb was targeted once before by Panda. Therefore DaniWeb seems to be doing quite well (DaniWeb stated that the pageviews grown more then 30 %) considering that there where multiple Panda updates. Maybe DaniWeb as every (good) website owner overstate their true value on the internet and this is just an correction.

  • ACF

    I feel Dani’s pain. Our site experienced the same effects as her site (50% drop in February, 100%+ recovery in July, and now a 40% drop in September).

    We run a well-respected site, with high quality content (photo, video and editorial), also produced by in-house professionals that are experts in our industry. We also have an active and engaged community and a strong social media presence.

    I’m hoping it doesn’t take Google another five months to figure out that this latest update may be flawed.

  • http://www.techspot.com Julio Franco

    Dani is not alone, we’ve also been hit this week on certain sections of our site although none is scrapped or duplicate content whatsoever.

    • Niceguy

      Wow! I know Techspot. You run that site? Wonderful!

      Google Panda is a nightmare for all. If you could tweet @mattcutts, he’d definitely help you out. Please ask.

  • http://cybershed.net Amanda

    Interesting, very interesting. I’m looking at how the Panda update has affected websites in my country, there might be some interesting consequences coming about if this iteration is repeated, which it will be, so I’m staying tuned :)

  • http://liliputing.com Brad Linder

    Liliputing went through the same thing. Traffic kept dropping lower and lower starting in February. In late July we largely recovered when Panda 2.3 hit.

    Then on Wednesday evening I was looking at my stats — and noticed that the hourly stats were starting to dip down to pre-recovery levels.

    We’ve made a few improvements over the past 6 months that should hopefully keep things from getting as bad as they were in June/July… but I’m getting awfully tired of this roller coaster.

    • Niceguy


      I believe you have a good site. You have engaging content, yes, but have you thought of removing the tags that are visible under every post?

      • http://liliputing.com Brad Linder

        I’ve thought about it — and I removed them from the main page. But on post pages they offer readers a way to find related content and most top tech blogs seem to have them, so I’d be surprised if they’re causing any real problems.

        • http://liliputing.com Brad Linder

          Just for kicks I’ve removed them from the post pages too… I’ll leave them off for a few days and see if anybody notices.

    • moonlight

      Brad, you do have a great site, but some serious SEO is sorely needed. You may want to remove some of the links on your site. Appears you have too many, and website is too big.

      Looked at your source code and it says:

      “This site is optimized with the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin v1.0.3″ If you paid for this you need to get your money back.

      Your title says “Compact Computing”, which is only 25% relevant to your content. This phrase does not exist anywhere in your content. Not Good.

      Let me help you! You can toss that Yoast SEO plugin. I’ll match my skills against ANY SEO plugin any day!

      May I contact you via your website?

      • http://liliputing.com Brad Linder

        Anybody may contact me via my website — that’s what the contact box is there for.

        But I’m not looking to hire an SEO expert at the moment. I use the Yoast plugin because it has a couple of functions that were easier to grab from the plugin than to code on my own.

        Honestly though, I don’t think there’s a single SEO expert that has any idea how to combat Panda. I haven’t read a single account of anyone recovering from Panda without Google rolling out an update.

        I’ve made dozens of changes to my website over the last half year, but the only time I recovered traffic was when Google rolled out Panda 2.3. Now that Panda 2.5 has hit, I’m losing traffic again. I’m pretty sure the changes I’ve made have little to do with anything — Google is changing its algorithm in ways that don’t have much to do with whether tags are visible, RSS feeds are indexed, image galleries open in separate pages, etc…

        I’m pretty much done trying to guess what Google wants and instead I’m just going to spend more time focusing on providing the best possible content for my readers… hopefully Google will notice.

        You can read about my previous efforts here:


        and here:


        In a nutshell, I’ve made a lot of changes… some of them are changes I’m happy I made whether or not they help with SEO. But many are just shots in the dark based on so-called “best practices.”

        • http://TheAutoChannel.com Bob Gordon

          Panda has created an industry of snake oil salesmen, none of whom have any idea what will work or not… in reality the hydra that is google has noi idea what is really going on… Good Morning Dave

  • http://www.francescafinejewelry.com francescafinejewelry

    I took a swan dive for the keywords “fine jewelry” without the quotes. Sigh My traffic went down too. Here we go again.

  • Sunny

    The monoply of Google as a search engine is hurting the democratic nature of the World Wide Web. Its constant tweaking of its searches makes ‘search’ a joke for information on the web. For a few months the Google honcho’s considers certain content of some websites as ‘high-quality sites to Google users’ and within a few weeks the same websites are dumped for some others and this continues and traffic on these sites keep going up and down like roller coaster. How can the so called ‘quality content change’ so rapidly.

    • http://TheAutoChannel.com Bob Gordon

      As an experienced (old) 40 plus year veteran of the media wars (Radio, TV and Web), and a pioneer in the commercialization and democratization of the web, it pisses me off that a player (google) can unilaterally injure what has take millions of dollars (of our own money) and 17 years of our lives to create and maintain…on Feb 24 we lost 60% of The Auto Channel’s google traffic, on July 21 we gained it back and over the past week beginning Sept 27 have once again lost 60-70% of our google traffic…WTF… our content has grown by thousands of pages and 100’s of original video’s, since July, our presentation has not changed so it must be a result of what google is doing…without nary a word or suggestion from the Google G-d about their Panda Cancer.

  • james


  • http://www.myupscaledaddy.com JP Adams

    The guys at Google actually have more power than half the politicians in this world. Googleplus goes to a PR of 8 in just 30 days while the rest of us struggle for years!!

  • http://gamingsale.net/ GiveSuccess

    My traffic on a tattoo site was cut in half mid June and I have not been able to get back to where it was. I used to spend about ann hour on all my sites a day but now i find myself working on just the tattoo site about 3 hours a day without results.
    I think the only way google will stop feeding thier “favorite” site our traffic is if a massive amount of webmasters just stop using Google and ask them to pls de-index our sites. Since I can’t get my Google traffic back & I am spending my time gaining the traffic back in other ways ..bing.. twitter..facebook…linkedin…ect…ect.
    I am seeing a rise in my traffic from those other sources and they seem to stay on my sites way longer than the google traffic did. So Thank you google for forcing me to find better ways than begging you for your handouts! In 3-5 years they will be begging us to start using them again.

    • moonlight

      “I think the only way google will stop feeding thier “favorite” site our traffic is if a massive amount of webmasters just stop using Google and ask them to pls de-index our sites.”

      That’s 2 good ways to cut down a tyrant. The best is to stop using G and get used to using some other engine. No many how many times G denies what many suspect them of doing, actions and results say different.

      I use DuckDuckGo.com for serious search and their results never disappoint me. Their SERPs trump G’s any day.

  • lou

    Is google down today? I can’t seem to access it,

  • Kyle Kendrick

    I’m hoping that as we speak, someone is making a product which will capitalize on the garbage that google has become,.

  • moonlight

    Daniweb is inaccessible for the moment. Won’t load at all.

    • moonlight

      Daniweb is back up now. Google may be penalizing her for the tag cloud. I remember reading G considers the tag cloud as spam. Also, G may be Panda penalizing forums now too.

  • He Man

    Wow…panda is so powerful….where is the alternative for Google in web ?

    if you know let me know…no one stands near G G G G……

  • http://thetechbytes.com the Tech Bytes

    I am reading about Google Panda’s story since Google started implementing this.No more Google organic is the primary source of traffic.Social Networking is the alternative.So now focus should be changed.

  • http://www.mansarovarlake.com Mukul


  • http://www.idesthost.com Edwin

    Dani from DaniWeb says that it looks like Google pulled back the update. Lets see how this goes…. (http://goo.gl/6dDkJ)

    • Its a Miracle

      The rest can starve, as long as Google takes care of high profile cases

  • http://www.bagwind.com/ handbags

    Thanks Chris Crum

  • http://legal-software.iris.co.uk Jim

    The only way to make Google sit up and pay attention is to use the power of the Internet.

    Vote with our fingers, set a revolution in process.

    We SEO experts and site owners need to EDUCATE millions of NORMAL PUBLIC PEOPLE about the damage Google is doing to thousands of firms.

    The majority of people simply do not understand how these things work and are unaware of the power Google has and the detrimental effects.

    We need to explain to them why they should switch their default Search Engine to any of the myriad alternatives available, and suggest to them some good ones they could try instead.

    But basically to STOP USING GOOGLE.

    We need to invite the public to enter our sites by the back doors!

    Even if this was on a temporary basis, but on a worldwide scale for 1 or 2 months of everybody abandoning Google that would hopefully shake them up.

    I will admit that I’ve not really thought this through and I am unsure of the overall impact – any thoughts!? e.g. are there simply too many people who benefit from Google who would simply not be willing to change. Google is ingrained in so many things we do.

    Would this kind of action actually kill dead all sales for businesses totally reliant on G (for a short while)? That seems to be happening for many firms already due to Panda!

    Hopefully we would see a gradual ramp up of site visits coming from other search providers, and evenly shared to a wider variety and number of businesses.

    We can keep moaning about our falling stats, but unless we start taking some kind of definite action it will always be this way.

    I’m not suggesting we abandon Google forever, just send a very strong message that they need to improve things and consider what they are doing from a real world sense.

    I think originally Google meant well with their altruistic ideals, but nowadays it is just a massive beast hiding capitalistic purpose behind a smiling pretentious face that purports to be doing the best for search. Well, sorry Google but I am highly suspicious of your motives.

  • http://www.butteredham.com/blog/ Aaron

    I mistakenly posted this comment on the earlier article about DaniWeb’s traffic recovery, so here it is where it fits:

    The simplest explanation is that Google was changing the algorithm to better suit some of the big sites they (the people, not the algorithm) think are valuable sites, and the changes helped DaniWeb just enough to get it out of the penalty box. So they went back and “fixed” that.

  • http://www,professionalfleet.com sam postema

    One of my community websites http://www.lansinggrapevine.com took a major hit last time around and more than likely will not recover any time soon. The site is mainly geared toward promoting local business’s, people, events, classifieds, websites, blogs and articles which means most of my content has been added somewhere else as well. I went from being in top 3 for most of my keywords to almost no ranking at all.

    I decided to change my marketing approach inlight of this. I am now focusing my attention on building my own direct traffic and not relying on Google for it.

    I am also adding content to some of the reposted stuff at the beginning and ending of the blogs, events or articles that had been previuosly added to my site.

    Facebook ads are also very cheap and has been good for me when I was running my last campaign.

    Craig’s list has also been a phenominal traffic tool for me probably more so than anything else I have tried.

    • Stephen

      Beware…Facebook is even worse…I dropped them 8 weeks ago and my site visits actually increased!!!

  • Stephen

    The heck with us constantly having to adjust our sites to appease Google’s whims and algorithms. This goes back to the best advice I ever heard. Never have one stream of income!!!! Diverse…I found it better to have 2-20 hr/week jobs and 1 online business than 1-40 hr a week job. One boss kicks you out? You still have income….Same for search engines and Google….Don’t be having to always appease Google…Try Yahoo and any other local searches you may have…If Google keeps their pace, they will be split up like Ma Bell years ago….Internet is communication and the Feds watch it….You should too….

  • http://www.sparkjunction.com Spark Junction

    I watched a YouTube video about this DaniWeb-Panda issue… I hear they did recover, at least from one of the updates. Dani Horowitz explains quite well what they had to modify on the site. Quite useful tips…
    Turns out, Panda doesn’t like tag clouds. From my experience, it doesn’t like enumerations, lists and link lists either!
    Very stringent update, indeed!

  • Anti

    Good Google!!! This is exactly how the sites like DaniWeb should be treated, who treat their users badly, and for many people who left that inhumane site, they give no chance to even indicate that they left. All these unhappy people are boasted by the representatives of DaniWeb with an incredible impunity to be happy members of their one million “community”. But no words make the lies true, freedom is everyone’s right.

  • http://www.buyphenterminetablet.com Georgiy Kharchenko
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