Since the Panda update to the Google search algorithm, most websites are scrambling to get back to where they were with placement, popularity, relevance and pageviews. Cancer Answers, a site that runs on my server, was hit particularly hard and I have been looking into how to fix it.
One key incident that I didn’t even know about until my research discovered it occurred within my host environment. They made some big changes to their PHP and cgi-bin practices that caused parts of the site to simply quit working. It was easy enough to change the permissions to my get.cgi script and get the homepage pulldown menu to work again.
So fine, pageviews could have been down because the site was broken. But, since the repair, traffic has not bounced back and still hovers at around 30% of where we were this time last year. My strategy to clear this up is pretty radical. I am going to give away all my content.
When the site was built, the idea was to sell cancer treatment information to end users. In 1997, that idea was viable since content was slim and the need was great. Since then, information is much more available and reputable while ours has become stale. Thus, transcript pricing was reduced again and again. Now, a full transcript is only $3. If I put all that content onto the public site, that will probably go a long ways toward freshening the site and increasing traffic.
Since the site is static html, that is going to be a huge GAK. I’ll keep you posted on that.