The 3 Hidden Ramifications Of The Google Panda Update
Being the largest search engine online, Google is subject to a constant stream of SEO strategies and tactics whose aims can be universally summed up with five words: reach the number one spot. Many of these tactics are unethical (blackhat) and may result in a poor quality search result when a user queries certain keywords. Due to this any many other reasons, two years ago Google came out with one of its most comprehensive algorithm updates so far: the Google Panda update.
From that point forward, the search engine optimization industry, online publishing and online marketing have never been the same. As with any update, there are just a few sites that benefit greatly from the change, some that remain unaffected, and a slew of websites that disappear into the dark abyss of the dreaded Google sandbox, where they will forever remain in complete obscurity. Beyond just affecting the amount of traffic they get and their rankings, the Panda update forced some companies to completely re-brand their names or simply exit out of their respective industries altogether. Here is a closer look at some of the winners and losers of the algorithm change:
1.) The Coup De Grâce Suffered By Hubpages.com
Perhaps no other user-generated content site suffered a bigger blow in the SERPs than Hubpages. With over a million articles posted, it was the true definition of a content farm. A cursory look at their SearchMetrics traffic analysis page indicates that the site went from a rising 200,000 views a day to less than 8,000 over the course of one day – April 7th 2011. It has never recovered from that blow and the company executives are still searching for a viable long term solution.
2.) Learn Anything From Maholo.com? Not Anymore
Maholo was started in 2007 as a human-curated search engine where people could write the content pages that would match some of the most popular trending and search terms. They were hit hard, very hard in April and effectively went from over 100,000 views per day to zero. As the founder Jason Calacanis states,
… we’ve sunset that brand and we’ve given up on an adsense ad-driven business model. We’ve worked hard on higher quality videos and apps with solid success… We’re going to launch a new product called Inside.com in Q2/Q3 that requires 0% of exposure to search. We learned a LOT from the Panda update, and the #1 thing is have your own direct base of customers.
3.) Other Big Losers That Learned Their Lessons
Among the list of the heavily affected include (but are not limited to):
- Suite101.com: Now in the process of “revitalizing their entire business model.”
- Associated Content/Yahoo: Suffered a staggering 76% loss in traffic.
- About.com: Took a big enough hit to merit selling the entire website to IAC… at a $110 million dollar loss.
Even though we’ve only examined some of the most well known websites in existence that are thousands of times larger than the scope of the average webmaster, the harsh lessons learned by these companies can be used by anyone in any stage of their online marketing career. As a very smart man once said, it’s never a good idea to build a business model around getting traffic from a single source.
Orangehat was specifically developed to help businesses navigate through the new online market. We have painstakingly experimented with various methods to develop one tried and trued method. That is content development and social sharing.