For over a year, people who think that their site has been unjustly affected by Google’s Panda algorithm update had a centralized place to voice their problems – and with any luck they could receive guidance from other webmasters or even Google folk. That help thread inside Google’s Webmaster Central Forums had amassed thousands of entries in its year of existence.
But now, most of those posts are gone. The main thread has been split up and now the posts are spread about other threads. Google’s John Mueller explains what happened in the “Why is the main Panda thread not accessible” thread:
Hi guys. It looks like the particularly long threads were split up for migration. The content is still there, you can find it in search. It’s great having your feedback, even (and especially) if it’s critical. Please continue posting, feel free to start a new thread if you’d like.
Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Roundtable first noticed the thread issues. He says that the main Panda thread had nearly 9,000 posts before this happened. As of right now, the main thread only has 1,001 posts.
What’s interesting about this little shift is that Google has specifically said that having one giant Panda help thread makes it easier for them to follow it – plus they pretty much read all of the posts that appear on the thread. The same John Mueller mentioned above had this to say last October about said Panda thread:
It’s certainly easier to follow a single thread than to follow lots of threads spread out across the web. Even if not all of the issues have the same cause, it makes it easier to track them, and pass possible issues on where appropriate. If we follow as they get posted, we don’t have to go through the previous posts. I subscribe to threads like these via email, it makes it easier to focus on the new posts, do a preliminary diagnosis and forward things where appropriate.
He went on to say that the thread was really more like a feed than a thread. And now it has been fragmented.
At the end of February, Google announced some changes to Panda, saying that they “improved how Panda interacts with indexing and ranking systems, making it more integrated into our pipelines.”