3 Things That Don’t Work Post-Panda Update!

These things used to work great before the panda update; they still work OK, but from the meager results they bring in now, I don’t really think they are worth your time or money!

If you still use any of these methods and it works for you, then fine. Enjoy the good phase while it lasts! :P

1. Article spinning: So, the story goes that I used "X article spinner tool" to spin some of the junk plr articles I had purchased a long while ago. I created three versions of the articles: one version of them had 15% rewrite, another had 50% rewrite and the third one had about 75% of rewrite. Then I built html pages with them using a site builder tool, and pasted Adsense ads all over! 8) Well, despite building enough backlinks (mainly from forums and blog comments) for these sites, they are yet to get indexed in Google, barring the homepages of each. In other words, for each of these sites, Google just indexed the homepage and skipped all the rest! ;)

I also have websites containing nothing but un-changed PLR content. Oddly enough, they are indexed a bit deeper in Google. Maybe Google prefers un-changed PLR content to software-generated spun content, I don’t know. :D

Anyway I built these sites several months before the first panda update; they used to bring decent returns back then, but they don’t anymore; as a result, I have dumped many of them for good! ;)


a) Writing original, high quality content. You either write it yourself or outsource it. Note that an original article is not necessarily a high quality article, though the reverse is of course true! For example, you can take up an existing article, rewrite it word-for-word, and Google would see it as original content and index it. But that is not what you call high quality content, right? While original content is enough to get you indexed in Google, only high quality content can pull in traffic and repeat visitors for a sustainable period of time!

For example: I would not call this article a ‘high quality’ one because I am sure you already know most of the stuff  I am saying here (plus it is boring too)! :D However, Google would still see it as original content due to the unique words, sentence structures and syntax being used here! :)

Anyway, this option is either too much of work or extremely expensive for those of us who are lazy and on a tight budget. So let us see if more options are available! :P

b) Curating content:  You can learn more about it here. Basically, you need to choose a niche/topic, collect a bunch of  authority sites in your niche, and use them as "sources" for your content. You visit these sites, source content from them, and aggregate them to form new articles! Product reviews – the way I write them, that is  – are such examples of curated content I think! ;)

For product reviews, the main hard work lies in sourcing the content. Writing the actual content in your own words is not so hard, certainly not as hard as writing a full-length, original article from scratch!

You need to be really honest and think about your readers first before you think about making money off them. Remember, the only reason readers would visit your site is because you are a reliable source of information to them; if you fail to offer reliable and honest information, you will lose readers!

No, I don’t use any software to curate content. It has been a while since I have been writing product reviews and now I can recognize the authority sites in my selected niches easily. I keep a bunch of keywords handy to find more information about any product through Google, and visit only the trustworthy websites to source content! Then I save the respective webpages to my hard disk! After that, I just need to read the saved pages one by one (in offline mode) and write my product review! :D 

There are other modes of content curation too. You can, for example, build a news site! ;)

2. Total automation: We internet marketers are so given to automating everything…automated social bookmarking, automated RSS submission, automated article submission, automated blog commenting you name it! So what you do? You buy a separate bot for each of these tasks, then just run it and build 1000 backlinks! :P

Hmm, but does Google actually recognize those backlinks? Out of 1000, you will probably get 100-200 backlinks indexed in Google, if you are lucky. Yes they used to work great before the panda update, but since panda started pillaging our websites, thing have started changing! :|

What is more, many of these article directories, social bookmarking and RSS syndication sites shut themselves down when the automated junk submitted to them via these bots become too much for them to sustain! Had people submitted original content to these sites using those automated tools, these sites would have continued to function, but junk and spammy content that most people submit using automated tools don’t make these sites enough money to justify their existence! The few who manage to brave it all make their websites bot-proof, so as to make any kind of automated submission fail on their site!

Ideally, these types of softwares need to be updated continuously, replacing the old, dysfunctional websites with new, functional websites. Unfortunately, once the initial launch is over, most of these "bot" owners don’t like to keep the promise of "free lifetime updates" in both word and spirit; they prefer to move on to their next venture. High quality support is also essential for the success of such tools, because no matter how stable the software is, users are found to face problem with automated submissions!

Even if the product is regularly updated and offers great support, this kind of automated submission is something you just have to keep doing; as your old backlinks get removed due to the sites becoming dysfunctional, you need to run the tool again and again to get new backlinks so as to sustain your website’s rankings in Google. To me, it kind of becomes a chore which is even worse than a regular day job!

If at all you are fan of automation, find a software that does it all for you: mass article submission,  mass social bookmarking, mass RSS submissions, mass blog commenting, etc. Yes, after a while you would find the tool getting less and less effective as more and more people start using it, but at least you did not invest a lot of money on it! ;)

As for blog commenting: it is hard to get sustainable benefits from it if you do it through softwares. If you use automated softwares, note that most blog owners use htaccess to protect their comment form from bots; if that is not enough, you also have other kinds of antispam plugins to deal with – plugins which would discard any comment that is not submitted by a human; not to mention that most blog owners now moderate comments manually.

Due to excessive spamming, it is hard to find blogs these days which give you dofollow links. There are few of them here and there, but most of the blogs – especially the WordPress blogs – have become nofollow. Nofollow links have value, but certainly not as much as dofollow links.

One of my friends said to me once: blog commenting is just a waste of time. I don’t entirely believe in it, but it is true that blog commenting has gotten only harder now. It is better if you submit very high quality comments on a few authority blogs related to your niche: that way, you have a higher chances of getting your comment approved, and fewer chances of getting labeled as a spammer.

On the other hand, mass spamming blogs with low-quality, one-liner comments is certainly not going work for you, and if you are "lucky" enough to be registered as a spammer on Akismet, your blog commenting career is over!
That said, I don’t spend a lot of time on blog commenting. It is a lot of work to submit quality comments on blogs – all for nofollow links. It can get you some traffic, but I would rather spend time in writing guest posts and get dofollow links instead! These days, I comment on blogs only for the initial indexation of a brand new site in Google: no more and no less.


Hiring actual humans for these kinds of tasks, and submitting your stuff only to the top few sites (unlike before when you could easily rank a website on the first page of Google with thousands of low-quality, junk backlinks, now you can get away by building fewer backlinks – but they have to be of HIGH quality). You can hire someone from Mechanical Turk or Fiverr and get much better returns with far less investment!

Make sure that the people you hire for these tasks are fluent in English; posting blog comments/forum posts in broken English is not going to help you earn any respect!

3. Profile spamming: Let us face it: once upon a  time they used to work great and even I used them a lot. But post-panda update, Google is steadily devaluing these profile backlinks; in fact, Google hardly indexes anything that is "all links and no content". Are profile backlinks dead? No, they still work to a certain degree, but they are not as effective as they used to be! You would need to build a lot of such backlinks to get any benefit from them at all, and that too, only if you can manage to get those links indexed in Google, which is the hard part!

Even if you get them indexed in Google through enough promotion, some of the webmasters would eventually start deleting the "spammy profiles"  and as a  result, you will lose several backlinks. In order to sustain your Google search rankings, you need to keep building profile links regularly, to the point that it would seem like another job to you!

Contributing to forums and communities in some form, even if by way of a few posts; helpful or not, they must NOT look spammy to the forum moderators, or the posts would get deleted and you will get banned from the forum! Making more than 2-3 posts at once is also a  sign of spammer, so don’t do it. Being patient is extremely important!

Article marketing works too: but the higher the quality of your article, the more traffic you would get. You will also want to promote the article by syndicating it on to various RSS submission sites!

What really works the best is guest blogging, but for that, your article should be something the authority blogs in your niche would be proud to publish! Nuff said!

Yeah, like you, I also don’t like hard work, but that is exactly what Google™ wants us to do: WORK HARD to get the benefits! I am sure this is not music to most ears, but times are changing, so change we must (even if grudgingly), or we go nuts!

What else do you think does not work since the last Google panda update? Please share them with me by posting a nice comment below, thanks (UNLESS you got very bored by reading this article, that is ;) )! :D


  1. Bruce

    Hi Arindam,
    Interesting – and depressing.
    Given what you have outlined, do you think there is any future in smallish niche sites?

    Say, for instance, one builds a totally original site of 20 to 40 pages, in a tight niche that really does not offer any further opportunities for content.

    Do you think it is still possible for such a site to produce an income? I see there are still those who promote such sites – or do they do it just to try and keep selling their IM products?

  2. RichardP

    “What else do I think does not work since the last Google panda update?”

    Until last July, many of my mini-sites produced adsense clicks and revenue that averaged around $3 per day. Over the past 10 years my portfolio of 5 to 15 page sites has grown to nearly 200. Most of these simply presented the results of research on topics that were of significant personal interest and were published because I enjoyed making them and didn’t want to see the research results wasted. This was mostly a hobby, but when I got emails from Google pointing out that I could/and should put adsense ads on them – I did, and started promoting them through twitter, emails to my lists, facebook, etc.
    Then came Panda and my $3/day, or so has dropped to merely pennies per day. Organic directed traffic has also dropped, probably also a result of Panda.

  3. Arindam


    >Say, for instance, one builds a totally original site of 20 to 40 pages, in a tight niche that really does not offer any further opportunities for content.

    They may work right now but not for very long. I had one such site with several subdomains and each subdomain hosting a micro niche site like u describe. Google de-indexed my website sometime ago and refused to index it back despite numerous reconsideration requests. They don’t give you any reason though, just the vague ‘your site still violates google guidelines’ so after making some changes I thought would help, I gave up, purchased a new domain and mirrored that site.

    I can only speculate, but seems like Google is favoring authority sites more and more.

    On another note, sometime ago I got an email from someone asking me what to do now that “google is killing subdomains”. I thought that was a joke! :P

  4. Arindam

    Yeah Richard, Adsense has hit me hard too. :(

  5. Jim Hudson


    The game is afoot and changing every few weeks it seems. Folks have been looking at services like synnd and tribepro to give some social signals to their sites, it seems to work from a recent fiverr test I did on some content. But only time will tell.

    My link magnets I did a year ago are still there, but only because I hired the content written, and not spun or plr. Some of my sites went nuts after 3.3, and some stayed the same. It is a guessing game with the G as to what passes sniff tests and what does not. So much has changed yet again in the past few weeks, it’s hard to know what will work long term except original content, and that’s a given.

    Pinterest seems to be the next frontier, and I went in there and began my account and pins, again, we will see what works for the future.


  6. TopicBay Article Marketplace

    Good article. I think that the lines get blurred when you create articles for the sole purpose of back links. If you are going to re-spin an original article to about 80% the you are better off just writing a completely new article. Like you say, why write an article that wont get you traffic. A real visitor is better than a backlink