I would like feedback if any of you have been down this road with penguin - or panda for that matter as well (because it seems that their are some similarities in how the two updates work to filter out sites).
1. Site #1 - Has been around since 2003, and has lots of old high quality links, as well as many low quality links. Some were acquired through SEO work, and some are completely natural. We lost about 60% of traffic from Penguin.
Because this site has been around so long, and has historically ranked really well, I am taking on the time consuming task of auditing all of the links and requesting removal of the ones that look the most like SEO. We also filed a reconsideration request because we figured it couldn't hurt, and our suspicions were confirmed when Google replied that some of our backlinks did not look natural. This indicates to me that our problem may be more than just the Penguin filter - that there may be some manual penalty applied as well.
I plan to continue the daunting task of requesting link removals, and following up with Google on the reconsideration request once more have been removed. We do have some natural .edu links, and other great links that would be very hard to get again if we started all over with this website.
2. Site #2 - Is a newer site that is not as integral to my business, and this site does not have nearly as many llinks pointing to it. It is not spammy in any way, we publish high quality articles written by licensed professionals in their filed on it, it just has some low quality links pointing to it.
For Site #2, I plan on changing the domain name and starting over with a new website. Here is the process I plan on using, and this is where I really need input:
- Parked the alternate domain on the site to let it get indexed under new domain name.
- Get a few high quality links to the old domain changed over to point to the new domain
- 302 redirect old domain to the new domain, once the new domain is fully indexed. Normally, I would 301 redirect when changing domains, but I know 301's pass PR, so I'm thinking 302 would be the way to block the new domain from getting credit for the low quality links? Or maybe not redirect the old site at all? This is where I need advice.
Thanks in advance for any feedback.