We have an editorially reviewed directory that was once beloved by Google. Then came Panda, which killed directories of all kinds, including ours. We worked for many months to make Google happy, even meeting with Google team members, who said they were very impressed with what we'd accomplished. Although our AdSense CTR skyrocketed, our traffic continued plummeting down the cliff.
I'm out of SEO ideas, except one: Killing the directory and limping forward with just our original articles. Our directory pages outnumber our articles 3 to 1, but the articles get 52% of our traffic versus 43% for the directory. Obviously the directory still gets some visits and deleting it would cause a lot of pain for us, at least temporarily. BUT we're at less than 4% of the traffic we had a couple of years ago. We're already at death's door, and broke.
So... First question: Should we do away with the directory?
Second question: Should we move our articles into a blog format? Here's my thinking:
Google seems enamored with blogs now. Our articles are sitting on static pages. In the past, the age of our articles made them authority pages in Google's eyes. Now, Google is often ranking our many plagiarizers more highly. (Yes, we try to stop the plagiarizers, but they pop back up again as fast as we can shut them down!)
Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide!
Update: Interesting side note: Traffic to our articles is lower than traffic to our directory from direct, Bing & Yahoo visitors. Only Google sends more traffic to our articles than to our directory. Unfortunately, Google has an outsized influence on our income.
Also, our articles bring in significantly more revenue than the directory through AdSense.