What happens if your site gets ‘blacklisted’ by Google? from Hitwise illustrates how dramatic a Google penalty can be to a company’s success.
Hitwise collected search data and upstream traffic for searches for ‘car insurance.’ The search term saw a 31% increase in share of searches by the week ending 29th December. Around January 26th, GoCompare dropped to page seven from the number one results. Hitwise captured the traffic loss for the site. The number one position, at that time, was “capturing 17.49% of the all search traffic from the term.” GoCompare saw a 87% decrease in traffic for that search term due to the Google penalty.
Previously receiving almost 18% of all search traffic for that term, GoCompare was now receiving only 2.31% of all search term traffic from the term “car insurance.” Keep in mind, the volume of searches for “car insurance” remained constant over this time.
Who were the winners from this Google penalty? GoCompare’s competitors. “Confused.com has increased by 77% since the 26th January, while traffic to Comparethemarket.com has tripled over the same period,” said Hitwise.