Searchmetrics.com has come up with an interesting list of sites that have improved as well as lost search visibility this week, a week when the Google webspam update was also announced. It would’ve seemed to savvy SEO analysts that this list of sites that were placed on the losing side of search visibility was actually the result of the webspam algorithm update, but Matt Cutts clarifies it at the Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan’s blog.
Matt’s comment at the bottom of Danny’s article is as follows:
“Hey Danny, there’s a pretty big flaw with this “winner/loser” data. Searchmetrics says that they’re comparing by looking at rankings from a week ago. We rolled out a Panda data refresh several days ago. Because of the one week window, the Searchmetrics data include not only drops because of the webspam algorithm update but also Panda-related drops. In fact, when our engineers looked at Searchmetrics’ list of 50 sites that dropped, we only saw 2-3 sites that were affected in any way by the webspam algorithm update. I wouldn’t take the Searchmetrics list as indicative of the sites that were affected by the webspam algorithm update.”
So, it is apparent that there was a Panda update after the 3.4v but no hoopla created around it. While the webspam update is still at its infant stage, Panda seems to have shown the foul card to high profile sites like Digg.com. Although, Searchmetrics comments that this list of winners and losers is just a preview of the sites hit and this data is prone to undergo updates in the near future, the data still remains to stun some of the website owners featured on the ‘loser’ list.
Google is quickly rolling out its search algorithm updates one after the other and it would be scary as well as interesting to see the resulting outcome. The webspam update (that is estimated to hit 3.1% queries) concurrent with its Panda counterpart (that hit above 12% of queries) are sure to stir in a concoction of search engine penalty-hit sites.