SEO Winners and Losers 2011
Posted June 2011.
Back in late February, Google unveiled its "Panda Update" (sometimes also known as the Farmer Update), a series of algorithm changes with which Google hopes to achieve an
improvement in the quality of search results. According to Google approximately 12% of all search queries worldwide are affected by the changes in the Google algorithms.
Since February the aftermath of the "Panda Update" has had numerous SEO experts scrambling to understand the new role many websites now play in terms of popularity. Popular sites like YouTube and Facebook have seen a huge boost whereas some sites (especially those which reuse content from other sites) have been downgraded on search results.
The new Google algorithms have been further developed and the following is a list of the biggest winners and losers from the Top 100 websites online following the Pande Update. The stats are based on May 2011's stats vs March 2011' stats.
The Biggest Winners
1. youtube.com: 54.096,74 (+139,8%)
2. facebook.com: 24.167,27 (+124,26%)
3. squidoo.com: 11.467,18 (+63,60%)
4. ehow.co.uk: 6.035,64 (+58,27%)
5. thefreedictionary.com: 5.676 (+38,45%)
6. flickr.com: 12.905,11 (+38,00%)
7. alibaba.com: 7.523,97 (+35,74%)
8. myspace.com: 6.660,76 (+30,86%)
9. nextag.com: 11.453,02 (+30,77%)
10. informe.com: 8.796,46 (+28,89%)
Furthermore what is noteworthy is that some domains that made the Top 100 in May for the first time, such as cbi.ebay.com (28th), dailymotion.com (44th) or metacafe.com (46th).
The biggest losers:
1. associatedcontent.com: 9.129,76 (-56,84%)
2. suite101.com: 9.590,36 (-52,82%)
3. wisegeek.com: 3.921,63 (-52,66%)
4. thefind.com: 4.077,09 (-43,76%)
5. findarticles.com: 3.872,02 (-39,98)
6. examiner.com: 3.116,22 (38,69%)
7. ezinearticles.com: 14.712,47 (38,62%)
8. buzzle.com: 7.375,12 (-37,74%)
9. ehow.com: 24.304,51 (-28,26%)
10. brothersoft.com: 3.895,10 (-27,36%)
The losers were essentially being punished for a combination of reasons, mostly ripped off content, too many links, and are essentially "problem websites". Some of them are probably also guilty of using Black Hat SEO. Some domains have even dropped out of the Top 100 domains, such as answers.com (used to be 29th), washingtonpost.com (used to be 49th), or business.com (used to be 51st).
When looking at the winners and losers, it appears that various big brands and popular communities can be found in top positions as opposed to various popular media pages and websites with less strong communities that are losing out. This could be the result of a higher valuation of factors such as brands, user interaction and retention rates.
What it makes you realize is how much Google searches make a difference on the popularity of websites. Even minor changes to the algorithms could be disastrous for websites relying on Black Hat SEO / ripped off content. Proof that cheaters never prosper.
Thankfully we at designSEO.ca use only White Hat SEO.