It’s my belief that Panda has a 1, 2 punch. The first part of the punch is obvious in the form of reduced traffic. As I’ve mentioned in my last post, my Tidbits and Stuff site was smacked by the Panda. Traffic dropped by about 40% (Panda’s first punch).
Although Tidbits used to get a pretty decent amount of traffic, it didn’t make a lot of money. The most frequently visited pages on the site were the food pages. Food pages don’t make a lot of money. On occasion, visitors would read one of the higher ticket topics, but generally they were interested in how to cook steak.
Panda’s Second Punch
I have another site that didn’t seem to be affected too much by the Panda as far as traffic goes. As I looked at my weekend stats, last weekend , before Panda, this site received 1289 page views (according to StatCounter) while this weekend the same site received 1375 page views. With the miniscule increase in page views, you would think there would be either a miniscule increase in earnings or the earnings would remain pretty much the same, wouldn’t you?
Not the case. Here’s where the second punch comes in. Last weekend the site earned a little over $53 with AdSense. This weekend the site earned a bit over $41, an earnings drop of 22%. This less than positive anomaly also occurred after the first Panda algorithm change. Sites that were seemingly unaffected traffic-wise were affected financially.
A further comparison of my Infolinks earnings for the same site showed that last weekend the site earned $18.28 while this weekend the site earned $17.48. The 5% fluctuation is nothing for me to be alarmed about. The earnings were still within their normal range.
Back to the First Punch
Getting back to Tidbits and Stuff, the AdSense earnings do not mirror the 40% drop in traffic. The weekend before Panda, Tidbits’ AdSense earnings were $4.38. This past weekend it earned $4.06. My Infolinks earnings on the other hand, went from $4.67 to $1.82.
One set of figures makes sense to me while the other set does not. Who knows, maybe things will even out over time, but in the meanwhile all I can think of is Ricky Ricardo walking in the door and yelling, “Google! You got some splainin’ to do!”
Actually, Google doesn’t owe us an explanation. They run their business as they see fit. Similarly, we have to run our businesses as we see fit. We can’t control Google, but we can sure control what we do to help neutralize Panda’s 1, 2 punch.