Google's algorithm change creates brand winners and losers
ITV, Nationwide and eBay are among brands which are benefiting from their sites receiving greater visibility in Google search due to the change to Google's algorithm, which was rolled out globally yesterday, according to analysis from SearchMetrics.
The change, dubbed "Panda Update", means that Google search promotes premium over "farm" content, incorporates user feedback and penalises sites blocked by users across all English language websites.
Searchmetrics defined visibility according to its own Organic Performance Index (OPI), which is calculated according to a keyword’s search volume, position and the statistical value of traffic distribution.
It compared where the sites appeared in searches for millions of keywords before and after the Google Panda update, with the data collated between 5 April and 12 April.
The visibility of Time has increased the most, by 55.2%, followed by Nationwide at 49.4% and eBay by 42%. Other brands for which visibility has increased following the changes in the algorithm include the National Lottery, Virgin Media, and ITV.
The visibility of Dailymail.co.uk, which has the biggest audience of any online newspaper, has increased by 12.7%.
Mirror.co.uk, Metro.co.uk and Independent.co.uk have all experienced uplifts of more than 20%. Timesonline.co.uk (which redirects to the new Times website) is 8.8% more visible, just behind Guardian.co.uk.
Google-owned YouTube is 18.9% more visible and Microsoft's MSN.co.uk is 8% more visible.
Discount and coupon sites were among the biggest losers after the change. Voucherstar lost 99.7% visibility, Netvouchercodes.co.uk lost 98.7% and Voucherhub lost 88.5%.
A number of comparison and product review sites appeared lower in search rankings, including Microsoft’s Ciao, for which visibility dropped 93.8%. Ciao recently complained to the EU that Google abuses its dominance in online search.
Other sites to suffer lower visibility following the change include Yahoo! content offering AssociatedContent.com, Qype, Shopzilla, Play.com and eHow.co.uk.
|Winners in Google visibility, selected sites|
|Domain||Visibility (OPI) new||Visibility (OPI) old||Difference||Won in percent|
|Losers in Google visibility, selected sites|
|Domain||Visibility (OPI) new||Visibility (OPI) old||Difference||Loss in percent|
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