If you've been following the Panda saga for a while, you may remember hearing the story about One Way Furniture, a furniture store that was victimized by the Panda update. It got a fair amount of media coverage, including by NPR and the Wall Street Journal. We mentioned them in our first coverage of the DaniWeb story.
"I was sort of a pioneer of selling furniture online," CEO Mitch Lieberman tells WebProNews. "I first began in 1997 on eBay and we were the first ones selling brand new furniture on that platform. I took the seller name on eBay 'Furniture' and we still have that user name to date."
While DaniWeb has been able to make a full recovery (and then some) from the Panda update, thanks to Google's latest known tweak, One Way Furniture has not been so lucky. Lieberman tells us that he is offering a $25,000 reward to whoever can get the site to a "sustained, full Panda recovery."
Perhaps he should talk to DaniWeb's Dani Horowitz.
"Our site literally got crushed on Panda 1, and each Panda has gotten worse," he says. "I’m at the point where I don’t have the answers and some of the best in the business have failed to guide us towards a recovery. With that in mind I thought a reward would be the way to go. Since February 24th I’ve spent most of my time in Google Analytics."
"I’ve spent millions over the years on AdWords," he adds. "However, I’m not saying that with a sense of entitlement, because the fact is that Google has been great to us for many years. However, as a paying client I would hope to have some sort of history with the company to where they could guide us to what changes need to be made. We are completely in the dark here. If you shop at a department store and have a bad experience with one department, are you really going to just shop in a different department in the same store? Google acts as if the SERPS depts., and ADWORDS have nothing to do with each other."
"As a paying customer to Google I just ask for some respect," says Lieberman. "A simple 10 minute phone call with a SERPS manager to offer us tips is all we would expect. The highlighted total is almost 3 million spent on Google Adwords since we started with them about 8 years ago. Last year we spent $442,159.69 with them."
Lieberman expressed that he isn't trying to be condescending to Google. "I understand they update their algorithms from time to time, I don’t have a problem with that," he says. "I only have a problem with two things. A) Nuking us overnight without warning as they did. B) Failure to communicate with us what we need to change. I’ve been selling furniture online while Google was starting out their business in 1997!"
"I must state that the idea is for someone hands on to take on this project," he says. "The goal is give our end user the best possible buying experience on our site. At the same time we want to see those changes get us out of this Panda Penalty. We have made a list of over 30 changes that we have done so far, and also have some other significant changes in the works. Mainly a complete redesign."
This is what the site looks like currently:
Here are some things One Way Furniture has done so far, as it has tried to climb back into Google's good graces (as explained by Lieberman):
So how about that reward? Here's the criteria One Way Furniture has set:
A) At least 85% of organic traffic recovered compared to last year same time. We will consider it a recovery after 30 days of the data showing the traffic bump.
B) Google guidelines must be adhered to 100%.
C) Overall bounce rate has to decrease site wide by at least 15%.
E) Reward payment will start 90 days following the beginning of “recovery”.
E) The 25K will be broken up into 10 payments starting on the 91st day.
F) Payments will continue as long as traffic remains within the threshold. If traffic drops during another Panda update the payments will stop, but will continue once the traffic is again restored.
G) If they are successful and receive all $25,000 of the reward, at the end of the period we will throw in $2,500 worth of free furniture from any one of these departments: Bar Stools, Bedroom Sets, Dining Rooms, TV Stands, Office Furniture.
H) The person that gets us out of Panda will also be in consideration for a possible contract job moving forward. The contract job will not be for an SEO, It will be for a CUO. We think SEO needs to be permanently replaced with this new term “CUO” Consumer Usability Optimization.
If you're interested in seeking the $25,000 reward, you can contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.