Well known news sites are early winners with Google’s Panda update

Early data reveals big winners and losers, visibility-wise, from Google’s Panda algorithm update – designed to improve Google’s ability to detect and devalue “low quality content”, which it has now rolled out across all English language websites.

As soon as Panda was released in the US, I built a sample keyword set and started tracking visibility for this keyword set on Google.co.uk on a daily basis.

Early data reveals winners are largely made up of well known news sources such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Yahoo.com, Times Online and The BBC, along with YouTube and a couple of other sites.

Meanwhile, big losers appear to include article and content directories such as HubPages and Ezine Articles, review sites like DooYoo.co.uk, “how too” sites like Videojug and eHow. Most devastatingly of all, another review site, Ciao, has lost 99% of its search engine visibility in Google.co.uk.

Naturally in an algorithm update of this scope, there have been numerous smaller niche sites that have both gained and lost from Panda, many of which would appear in the table below if we focus only on pure percentage gains or losses in reach

Whilst the data is available, I feel the most immediately interesting stories are to be found in the fortunes (or misfortunes) of the bigger, more well known sites that appear in the list.

The effects of big algorithm updates tend to last a while, with ranking fluctuations occuring for several days or even weeks. Given this being early data, I will be following up once things have had a chance to settle down, to see if anything has changed.

The average aggregate reach of sites pre- and post- Panda is shown in the table below, along with the percentage change in reach.


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Adam Bunn is Head of SEO at Greenlight. A search professional with over 6 years SEO experience behind him, he oversees natural search strategies for all Greenlight’s SEO clients such as Santander, Vodafone UK and Interflora. Adam has experience of building and leading strong SEO consultancy teams. Thanks to his industry expertise and broad knowledge as an SEO practitioner, he runs the in-house training program and is regularly called upon to train delegates at the IDM and industry conferences such as SES. Adam has also run bespoke external training programmes for the likes of First Conferences and Lastminute.com. Adam regularly provides innovative thought leadership pieces, white papers and opinion pieces for trade publications including Econsultancy, UTalkMarketing and Tech Weekly.