Google Panda – Winners and Losers analysed

by Peter Young on April 12, 2011 · 13 comments

I would suggest for many, Panda has come and gone with little or no significant impact, however with the analysis by Searchmetrics, there is significant evidence of the scale of the Panda update on the UK organic search market. Clear winners and losers are clearly evident – with many high end affiliate sites such as Myvoucher codes seeing a significant fall in keyword coverage.

Below is a table of some of the biggest visibility sites which have seen significant falls during the recent Panda expansion

Source: Searchmetrics

Some interesting sites have been caught in the crossfire here

  1. Review Centre have seen a near 90% drop in visibility
  2. Myvouchercodes have seen their keyword coverage drop significantly. Given much of this visibility was brand based this presents a potentially significant loss in income to them
  3. Online Retailer has seen a circa 10% decrease in visibility
  4. Big loser in the states – ehow has seen drops in the UK as well.

Further to that the biggest losers overall also highlights the impact of the changes.

Source: Searchmetrics

This is where the impact of Panda can be seen in better vogue -and where its impact on the affiliate industry in particular can be seen in particular. Many of the sites that have seen +90% decrease in visibility are affiliates sites – many of which have developed their products based on organic visibility. These include:


Further significant losers here include:

  1. Qype – 95.81%
  2. – 94.83%
  3. PCWB  (PC World Business) – 89.18%
  4. Shopzilla  - 53.45%
  5. – 51.99%

What it would suggest is that Panda probably has been successful in doing is weeding out some lower quality sites, however there are certainly some interesting sites being caught up in the cross fire. The PC World Business site in particular is an interesting one – and one that is likely to have significant commercial repurcussions.

This is interesting further when one looks at some of the winners of the algorithm

Source: Searchmetrics

Interestingly many of these do share a common high value content them. When one looks as these figures however it would be useful to put this in context. Many of the studies at present are looking purely at keyword coverage and much of this in my opinion does need to be balanced against that of share of voice (ie how many queries these keywords are exposed to). Only then will the true commercial impact of the update really be understood – however there is no doubting that Google Panda certainly isnt overhyped to a number of people in the UK today.

If you have experienced a significant downturn as a result of Panda please feel free to contact me via the site or alternatively at peter.young(at)

Google+ Comments

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Doc Sheldon April 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Great stuff, Pete. I imagine it took some time and effort to pull all that together!

Daniel April 13, 2011 at 8:58 am

Interesting stats, thanks for sharing. Look forward to see more share of voice stats as well, and perhaps some Hitwise info on the impact of the Panda update in terms of actual visits to sites.

dan barker April 13, 2011 at 9:30 am

hiya, Pete,

thanks for this. It’s probably worth mentioning that the data is an index, rather than a direct indicator of traffic?

Otherwise it sounds like the data says those sites have ‘lost 95% of traffic’, when they may/may not have lost (or gained) anywhere near that. :)

I hope life is wonderful!


Peter Young April 13, 2011 at 9:43 am

Did I say it was traffic? Thought I had said it would be interesting to overlay the potential traffic impact of this – given this is more keyword coverage rather than share of voice.

Chotrul SEO April 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

Looks very strange to me that people like Qype would be penalised. What is wrong with reviews? Peer group review is a driving force in Local SEO, and increasingly important in SEO in general. Hotfrog is a high visibility UK directory – why would that be penalised? Again, like Qype, they’ve been seen as a valuable support to Places listings, this time as a citation rather than a review source.

What am I missing here?

Doug Scott April 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm

We are seeing no change in our traffic levels.

Doug Scott

Peter Young April 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Good to hear Doug. The analysis was based purely on the Search Metrics data, which I merely pivoted and analysed in closer detail.

We (at Brilliant Media) are running some closer analysis and I will publish once I have got more detail to hand

Hurricane Motion Graphics October 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Just had a sales call from Qype and this was the article that stuck in my mind. Fortunately it was some of the other fanciful claims they made that made it sound too good to be true.

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