February 24, 2011 was a day that will live in infamy for the team here at Viewpoints. That was the day of the Google Panda update. Up until that point we had enjoyed four years of consistent traffic growth to Viewpoints.com.
From the article: "The truth of the matter was that it could have been any and all of these. Although we had hundreds of thousands of great reviews, we had probably let some slip through that did not deserve to be published. And we had not paid enough attention to speed, ad density or other hall marks of a good user experience.
So we set out to fix our Google problem but at the same time, we resolved to think bigger and longer term and use this opportunity to create a better user experience, regardless of what Google was looking for.
So now you can judge the results for yourself. We have spent the last 12 months as a team of 25+ professionals reinventing Viewpoints. From March to June we removed 40% of the ads across the site. We improved the speed of the site by 3x. We moderated out 80,000+ reviews that did not meet minimum quality standards.
Unfortunately these changes had only a nominal impact on traffic.
So we decided it was time for a more radical approach."
Here's the full story: http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/03/how-google-panda-changed-our-business/