Winners & Losers As Panda 2.0 Goes Global? eHow, Bing’s Ciao.co.uk & More

panda-cryingIt’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.

In some cases, the names are familiar if you followed the original reports when the algorithm change first hit in the US in late February.

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.)

#
Domain
Change SISTRIX (before) SISTRIX (after) # KWs (before) # KWs (after)
1 ehow.co.uk -84% 218,37 35,43 381.271 139.687
2 ezinearticles.com -78% 118,45 25,65 267.785 116.644
3 twenga.co.uk -79% 98,96 20,96 153.106 72.996
4 shopzilla.co.uk -77% 99,92 23,40 156.630 89.611
5 hubpages.com -72% 96,35 26,99 206.290 95.460
6 ciao.co.uk -81% 81,01 15,43 125.173 61.286
7 suite101.com -79% 70,98 14,85 175.632 70.548
8 associatedcontent.com -82% 51,16 9,41 186.020 85.507
9 dooyoo.co.uk -80% 50,64 10,38 94.310 40.864
10 comparestoreprices.co.uk -78% 37,68 8,19 66.862 39.633
11 hotfrog.co.uk -87% 31,67 4,23 117.126 38.357
12 shopping.com -74% 35,38 9,18 109.907 68.540
13 bizrate.co.uk -76% 33,78 8,10 79.533 38.444
14 mahalo.com -77% 32,54 7,43 43.272 18.451
15 findarticles.com -82% 24,02 4,35 94.362 46.954
16 articlesbase.com -79% 24,63 5,13 127.935 64.369
17 tradekey.com -78% 23,54 5,24 55.496 38.064
18 cylex-uk.co.uk -83% 20,98 3,57 75.019 29.806
19 answerbag.com -78% 19,35 4,31 71.178 36.270
20 encyclopedia.com -77% 19,43 4,39 61.608 41.401
21 qype.co.uk -76% 18,42 4,36 42.859 20.278
22 vodpod.com -78% 17,03 3,79 51.552 29.224
23 brighthub.com -76% 16,35 3,95 52.103 22.584
24 zazzle.co.uk -72% 16,80 4,72 22.771 10.803
25 howtodothings.com -75% 15,06 3,76 35.802 14.990
26 life123.com -81% 13,26 2,57 91.429 48.428
27 wn.com -76% 13,73 3,32 132.401 102.132
28 idealo.co.uk -81% 12,12 2,35 40.466 20.822
29 docstoc.com -79% 12,09 2,56 71.725 40.566
30 faqs.org -75% 11,50 2,87 33.302 21.130

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.

What changed?

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:

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

panda-ciao.co.uk

Airfaresflights.co.uk – down 95% OPI

panda-airfaresflights.co.uk

Hubpages.com – down 86% OPI

panda-hubpages

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 %
ebay.co.uk 1469346 1034302 435044 42.06%
techcrunch.com 174797 124220 50577 40.72%
national-lottery.co.uk 292053 209357 82696 39.50%
econsultancy.com 186175 135804 50371 37.09%
thisismoney.co.uk 234717 180377 54340 30.13%
siteslike.com 175869 140279 35590 25.37%
mirror.co.uk 275876 220937 54939 24.87%
blogspot.com 1006719 819832 186887 22.80%
mashable.com 295137 240714 54423 22.61%
itv.com 345470 282300 63170 22.38%
metro.co.uk 181507 149271 32236 21.60%
independent.co.uk 471896 388280 83616 21.53%
mozilla.org 146282 122471 23811 19.44%
youtube.com 8856696 7446902 1409794 18.93%
vimeo.com 168979 142182 26797 18.85%
wordpress.com 331836 279738 52098 18.62%
laterooms.com 150533 127297 23236 18.25%
dailymotion.com 577590 490328 87262 17.80%
soundcloud.com 150998 128569 22429 17.45%

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.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Content Farms | Demand Media | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Panda Update Winners & Losers | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    It would be nice if they would update their US Panda lists.

  • D.W.

    Panda went for the jugular on this one – cost us 2/3 of our UK traffic and an additional 40% in the US (after taking 45% with the first attack).

    They kinda spelled it out in their blog post on Tues. – specifically mentioning ‘long tail’ in association with ‘low quality’.

    And as far as I can tell, ‘quality’ has some close ties to ‘time spent on site’ – we’ve seen huge spikes in time spent on site for what little search traffic we still have.

    I suppose the silver lining is that we’re receiving better ‘quality’ visitors – just a helluva lot fewer than we were before.

  • Matt McGee

    We’ve asked them to do that, Michael. Will update this post or maybe write a new one if we get that data.

  • http://cellphonetrackers.org Alex

    So this time ehow is not that lucky. I wonder how ehow rankings will vary within US.

  • Ian Williams

    Interesting to see a number of directories listed there, including Qype, Hotfrog, and Cylex – all three of which are used by Google as citation sources to populate GMaps.

  • http://www.headbangtoday.com H.T.

    It seems like business directories are getting the axe. Is that good or bad news? Nice to see wordpress.com winning! \m/

  • Fraser Burt

    Fantastic article – thanks very much! I think this is a good movement by google. Feel bad for those companies that have lost their business over night though.

  • Tad Chef

    So it seems many shopping search engines like Idealo, Dooyoo, Ciao, Shopping.com etc. got slapped. Some article directories and content farms as well but mainly price comparison sites.

  • An

    So, in summary, a lot of shopping type aggregation sites lose out.

    I note that you didnt mention anywhere in this article about Google’s recent acquisition of BeatThatQuote.com for £37.7 million. Readers should also note that if you type the keyword phrase “compare credit cards” that you get Google listed at the top in a “comparison ad”.

    So, google’s new algorithm ranks down shopping aggregation sites, but it artificially ranks its own shopping/finance aggregation site at the top.

    Massive conflict of interest, anyone?

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