Google’s evil ‘Panda’ search engine update wreaks havoc on UK websites

Google's evil 'Panda' search engine update wreaks havoc on UK websites

First implemented across the US, Google’s  ‘Panda’ search algorithm update has now hit the UK and, once again, webmasters are feeling the hurt.

Like a rampaging, hit-sucking monster

Supposedly tasked with removing ‘shallow’ sites and dodgy content farms, the Pandageddon update has ended up inflicting a load of collateral damage, taking down a host of long-standing, legitimate websites.

As in the US, price comparison sites and sites stuffed full of what most people would define as useful content (e.g., news, reviews, blogs) have been unilaterally declared “shallow” by the overlords at Google, and subsequently seen their traffic plummet.

The SEO firm Searchmetrics has been monitoring the impact, and after analysing  300,000 domains and millions of short- and long-tail keywords between April 5th and 12th can, “definitely confirm that the update has hit the UK – in a big way.”

Google's evil 'Panda' search engine update wreaks havoc on UK websites

Slammed down the rankings

Some sites have been absolutely whacked by Google’s update: ehow.co.uk and ehow.com somehow lost more than 50% in terms of visibility, while Qype.co.uk  lost an astonishing 96% visibility overnight. Ouch!

Fellow tech site pocket-lint.com was hit even harder, with Searchmetrics calculating a  devastating 98.72 percent drop in traffic, whereas our non-profit, original-content-stuffed, long-standing sister site www.urban75.org was hit with another 25 per cent crash in traffic. This site also immediately slumped by 20 per cent. Thanks again, Google.

The winners.

Their were some winners though, with the biggest winners being ebay.co.uk ( up 42.06 per cent), techcrunch.com (40.72 percent), national-lottery.co.uk (+39.50 percent), econsultancy.com (37.09 per cent), thisismoney.co.uk (30.13 percent), siteslike.com (25.37 per cent) and mirror.co.uk (24.87 per cent).

Still, at least it’s not all bad news for those unfairly hit by Google’s cavaliering update, with Microsoft reporting that its rival search engine Bing has now grabbed a fairly astonishing 30 per cent of the search market in the US.

A full list of winners and losers can be downloaded from here.

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