Just two day ago, Google announced a significant “search ranking algorithm”-update which aims to increase quality in Google’s search results, by weeding out shallow and low-quality content from its top search results. Content farms were seen by many as the target.
Domains containing low-quality content are supposed to be found less often, high-quality pages are to achieve better rankings. At the moment this update is active in the US-Index, more countries are about to follow.
The impact of the search ranking algorithm update is starting to show. While Mahalo is getting a bunch of the press, the ezine article aggregators seem to be the ones most heavily hit — along with some of the business directory sites.
And apparently, eHow is a high-quality site in Google’s eyes. For now, anyway. Early data suggests Demand Media’s much maligned eHow property has benefited the most.
Sistrix released its VisibilityIndex, which’s based on a dataset of one million keywords, which were checked before the update and yesterday determine the biggest loser of this algorithm-change. The VisibilityIndex is an index value calculated from traffic on keywords, ranking and click-through rate on specific positions. Let’s look at a list of the 25 biggest losers:
Johannes Beus of Sistrix reports:
“The first conclusion is quite straightforward: the number of keywords these domains are ranking for dropped dramatically. Looking at mahalo.com as an example, it went from 33,875 keywords before the update to just 9,740 keywords after the update went public – a decrease of more than 70%. These were keywords like “zealand air” (3), “digg” (8) or “tax check” (4) where the domain fell out of the top 100 results. The second outcome deals with the remaining keywords,” Beus said.
Interestingly, for an update that was targeted at content farms, Demand Media’s flagship eHow.com site doesn’t make the list.
“Well, there is no sign that Google tried to downrank ehow.com. Ehow.com even gained SISTRIX value (from 270 to 310) and Keywords (from 317,320 to 324,021) during the algorithm-change. Looking at the SERP-Distribution chart from above for ehow.com, you’ll notice the difference,” reports Beus.