Yesterday, Google began rolling out their Panda 4.0 update designed to punch low-quality content. That’s generated both “winners” who have moved up in rankings as “losers” have dropped down — and eBay might be one of the big losers.
Searchmetrics gave us their initial winners and loser charts, based on rankings they continually monitor. These show that one of the biggest losers was eBay. According to the data, eBay lost a tremendous amount of traffic from Google, much of it from the ebay.com/bhp/ area of its site.
Another huge loser was Ask.com, yes, the search engine, that lost a tremendous amount of traffic in their Questions section at ask.com/question/.
The Losers: Ask.com, eBay, Biography.com & Google-Backed RetailMeNot
Among the top losers include Ask.com, ebay.com, biography.com and retailmenot.com. I should note, retailmenot.com is venture backed by Google’s venture arm. Here is the top list of losers from the Searchmetrics initial analysis:
Here is a chart showing eBay’s UK drop by their main root domain versus the directory from Searchmetrics:
Dr. Peter Meyers from Moz also documented with their analytics how much eBay lost with this update. Pete said, “over the course of about three days, eBay fell from #6 in our Big 10 to #25.” Meyers digs deep into the analysis on the Moz blog.
Refugeeks looked at early SEM Rush data, which also showed a steep decline for ebay’s web site in Google. Note, SEMRush will be sending me more data as they work it up at their office. Here is a chart from the UK data:
With all algorithm updates, there are also those who win and gain rankings. The big winners seem to be glassdoor.com, emedicinehealth.com, medterms.com, yourdictionary.com and shopstyle.com.
The SearchMetrics data is sorted by increase in SEO visibility in absolute numbers, but sorted by percentage (relative).
Only Losers Really Know If They Lost
As we said with the Panda 3.5 Winners & Losers report, lists like this aren’t perfect. The sites above may have had gains and drops for other reasons; less visibility this week because last week they were visible for different news stories, for example.
It’s also worth remembering that this is a sample of search terms. The only way to really know if any update has hurt or helped you is to look at your search-driven traffic from Google, rather than particular rankings or lists like this, which have become popular after Google updates. If you’ve seen a significant increase, you’ve probably been rewarded by it. A big decrease? Then you were probably hit.
Postscript: Recode.net reports a source says eBay.com was not impacted by Panda 4.0 but by a manual action, resulting in a drop in their traffic. That is indeed possible, that eBay was hit with a manual action on the same day Panda 4.0 was released. Either way, eBay does seem to have dropped, but what was the cause is the question.