It’s only been 48 hours since Google expanded the Panda/Farmer update to all English language searches outside the US, and we’re already seeing reports about who the early winners and losers are.
But there are also some new names, including a notable one that was missing the first time around.
Sistrix Visibility Index Losers
Earlier today, Sistrix posted its initial list of the 30 biggest losers from Panda’s expansion. It’s based on an analysis of a million keywords that were checked before and after Google’s announcement. The “Visibility Index” is Sistrix’s internal measurement that takes into account how many keywords were ranking, their position, and click-through rate on those positions.
Here are the top 30 losers from Sistrix’s measurements. (I’ve manually bolded the domains seeing an 80% or greater loss.)
|Change||SISTRIX (before)||SISTRIX (after)||# KWs (before)||# KWs (after)|
The first domain listed is the obvious surprise. Considered a poster child for content farms, eHow was widely expected to be an obvious loser from Google’s changes. But when Panda/Farmer first rolled out, it was actually listed among the winners.
Good question. Perhaps one reason is that Google says this more recent update includes data from searchers that manually block sites. But that’s speculation for now.
Postscript, April 18: For more on the eHow situation, please see these more recent articles:
- Panda Update: Google Lowers The Boom On eHow.com
- Demand Media: Panda’s Impact On eHow.com “Significantly Overstated”
Also on the Sistrix loser list is Ciao.co.uk, a comparison shopping site that Microsoft owns and is presented as “Ciao from Bing” on its website. (There are more shopping comparison sites on this list of losing sites than there were on the US-only lists.)
Yahoo’s Associated Content didn’t escape this week’s Panda expansion — Sistrix lists it with an 82% visibility decline. It was one of the harder hit domains in the US, too. Other domains on both lists include Ezinearticles.com, Mahalo.com, Suite101.com, Hubpages.com and others.
SearchMetrics’ Winners & Losers
SearchMetrics has also weighed in with its list of winners and losers from the Panda expansion. Some of the same names mentioned above are on SearchMetrics’ list, too. It analyzed “millions” of keywords as part of its Organic Performance Index (OPI), which takes into account keyword search volume, rankings and the expected traffic from those keywords and rankings.
In absolute numbers, Reviewcentre.com is the biggest loser, going from an OPI of 648,704 down to 68,096 — a loss of 580,000+. But in terms of percentage, there are bigger losers; some smaller sites have dropped more than 99% in the company’s OPI index.
But among bigger sites, SearchMetrics lists several of the same losers as mentioned above.
Ciao.co.uk – down 94% OPI
Airfaresflights.co.uk – down 95% OPI
Hubpages.com – down 86% OPI
Ehow.co.uk – down 72% OPI (Ehow.com dropped 53%, too.)
Searchmetrics’ Winners List
On the flip side, Searchmetrics lists its top 20 winners, which include several “brand name” sites including various media outlets and even a couple Google domains: Blogspot.com and YouTube.com.
|domain||Visibility (OPI) new||Visibility (OPI) old||difference||%|
We expect there’ll be more reports of winners and losers in the days ahead, and we’ll either update this article or publish new article(s). Comments are open if you have thoughts/opinions to share. And be sure to read some of the related articles below if you need to get caught up on what this is all about.
Postscript, April 14: As expected, we have more reports on the impact of Panda’s expansion.
Greenlight’s Winners & Losers
Greenlight, a search agency based in London and New York, has been monitoring a keyword sample across 10 verticals (automotive, beauty, fashion, etc.) since Panda rolled out in the US in late February. Greenlight monitored keywords that reflected informational searches – the kind that might lead searchers to content farms.
Using a similar visibility metric that looks at where URLs rank and how likely the ranking is to lead to a click, Greenlight has published its list of winners and losers from this week’s announcement. And the names are quite similar to what we’ve reported above.
Several media sites (Times Online, CNET, Telegraph, Guardian, etc.) have come out quite well according to Greenlight’s tracking, while eHow.co.uk, Ciao.co.uk, EzineArticles.com, Hubpages.com and a few others are on the losers’ list — just as they are with the Sistrix and Searchmetrics numbers above.
Meanwhile, ReviewCentre.com — one of the sites listed as a loser above — is already talking about it on the company blog:
On Monday of this week, the ongoing upkeep of Review Centre suddenly became a lot more difficult. Google rolled out a major algorithmic shift (nicknamed the Panda Update), that was apparently an attempt to remove low quality websites from its search index. It affected Review Centre, and has resulted in a significant drop to our Google traffic.
We’ve also reached out to Demand Media asking for reaction to the above reports that eHow.co.uk and, to a lesser degree, eHow.com have been impacted negatively this week by Panda’s expansion. A company spokesperson said that, aside from their February blog post after Panda’s US launch, “we generally don’t comment or speculate on changes by major search engines.”
CNET’s Winners & Losers
CNET’s Declan McCullagh has also dug into Google rankings before and after the most recent expansion of Google’s Panda changes. In general, his findings are similar to what’s been reported above. McCullagh says several news-related sites are doing better now — sites like Fox News, ABC News, ESPN, The New York Times and Yahoo News. He also reports that some government sites — like WhiteHouse.gov, NASA, the CDC and NIH — are also doing better recently.
Sites faring worse recently include eHow.com, WikiHow, Nextag, Associated Content, Ezine Articles and FindArticles.com.
Stock image from Shutterstock, used under license.