Dominic and @Joe_Velez, just thought I'd throw another update here...we've sped up the pace of our merging...we're now touching about ~1,500 threads per week so we're starting to get into the "weaker" masters.
Some tentatively good news...our organic traffic finally is starting to climb again (up between ~10-16% YOY in last few weeks). No clue if that is because of:
- the merging we are doing to help reduce thin content / thicken up strong threads
- the speed improvement from moving to PHP 7 and a stronger server is working
- removing non-indexed urls from our sitemap (maybe improves crawl budget?!)
...or some other random change we made. I'm not too excited because we've had periods like this before, but we're going to keep plugging away at #1 because we see it as a better user experience anyways.
Just wanted to say thank you again for all your advice and I'll keep posting here every few months to update you guys on how we're doing.
If I can help you guys out in any way, please let me know.