Google's recent panda search algorithm has dramatically shaken up the businesses of websites that moved up or down its search rankings. Sites whose rankings rose to the top found that their traffic and revenue soared -- but the adjustment had an equally devastating effect on those that were dropped.
The Online Publishers Association, boasting members such as ESPN, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, estimates that Google's latest algorithm change has shifted $1 billion in annual revenue to larger web properties, according to CNNMoney.com.
Backing up these findings is recommendation service Outbrain, maker of a widget used on 91 "premium publisher sites" including USA Today, The Daily Beast and Newsweek, Slate, iVillage, Slate, and The Boston Globe. Traffic to these sites increased by 48 percent.
Vertical categories getting the biggest traffic boost were:
- Entertainment: 126%
- Sports: 94%
- Tech: 74%
- Finance: 42%
- News: 36%
Conductor, after analyzing a set of keywords, this week has found that the SERPs are more volatile, indicating that the Panda Update is ongoing and some sites may experience a yo-yo effect. 15% of keywords dropped by three or more positions this week -- however, they also noted that the average distance keywords are moving continues trending downward.