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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.

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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
time.com 97382 62731 34651 55.24%
nationwide.co.uk 113277 75780 37497 49.48%
ebay.co.uk 1469346 1034302 435044 42.06%
national-lottery.co.uk 292053 209357 82696 39.50%
virginmedia.com 108782 80824 27958 34.59%
thisismoney.co.uk 234717 180377 54340 30.13%
clubpenguin.com 102137 78788 23349 29.64%
mirror.co.uk 275876 220937 54939 24.87%
itv.com 345470 282300 63170 22.38%
metro.co.uk 181507 149271 32236 21.60%
independent.co.uk 471896 388280 83616 21.53%
youtube.com 8856696 7446902 1409794 18.93%
laterooms.com 150533 127297 23236 18.25%
telegraph.co.uk 1774662 1517129 257533 16.98%
ft.com 604065 519984 84081 16.17%
dailymail.co.uk 1322226 1172989 149237 12.72%
guardian.co.uk 2844816 2592446 252370 9.73%
yahoo.com 2245690 2051506 194184 9.47%
twitter.com 1491839 1364221 127618 9.35%
facebook.com 1771169 1622827 148342 9.14%
thisislondon.co.uk 254934 233926 21008 8.98%
timesonline.co.uk 584810 537730 47080 8.76%
msn.com 640304 592144 48160 8.13%
tripadvisor.co.uk 330724 306770 23954 7.81%
thesun.co.uk 406077 380218 25859 6.80%
google.com 1156976 1090034 66942 6.14%
bbc.co.uk 4407215 4179082 228133 5.46%
argos.co.uk 460117 440485 19632 4.46%
vouchercodes.co.uk 530905 510303 20602 4.04%
google.co.uk 757100 728028 29072 3.99%
amazon.co.uk 2236029 2183036 52993 2.43%

 

Losers in Google visibility, selected sites
Domain Visibility (OPI) new Visibility (OPI) old Difference Loss in percent
voucherstar.co.uk 126 38748 -38622 -99.67%
osoyou.com 96 26668 -26572 -99.64%
discountshoppinguk.co.uk 491 66270 -65779 -99.26%
netvouchercodes.co.uk 1935 152376 -150441 -98.73%
qype.co.uk 5307 126801 -121494 -95.81%
associatedcontent.com 2239 44158 -41919 -94.93%
ciao.co.uk 20723 335697 -314974 -93.83%
wikio.co.uk 10627 114833 -104206 -90.75%
reviewcentre.com 68096 648704 -580608 -89.50%
voucherhub.com 9756 84783 -75027 -88.49%
promotionalcodes.org.uk 31992 262717 -230725 -87.82%
worldtravelguide.net 6245 47922 -41677 -86.97%
voucherseeker.co.uk 9086 62342 -53256 -85.43%
ehow.co.uk 33402 120596 -87194 -72.30%
discountvouchers.co.uk 65751 178428 -112677 -63.15%
myvouchercodes.co.uk 289948 661560 -371612 -56.17%
shopzilla.co.uk 40470 86937 -46467 -53.45%
mydeco.com 34252 63063 -28811 -45.69%
play.com 305883 336067 -30184 -8.98%

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