by Matt McGee
Google’s fourth Penguin update — what the company is callingPenguin 2.0 — hit last night, and less than 24 hours later we’re already getting a first chance to look at what sites might be considered “losers” in terms of search visibility.
In a nutshell, the list includes: porn sites, game sites and big brands like Dish.com, the Salvation Army, CheapOair and Educational Testing Service (yes, ETS, the company that makes a lot of those standardized tests you probably took as a child).
The SEO software company, SearchMetrics, has just shared its initial look at what sites have been affected the most by the latest Penguin update. As always, SearchMetrics is using its “SEO Visibility” benchmark, which looks at the visibility of a company’s web pages as they appear (or don’t appear) across a wide range of keywords in Google’s search results.
Here’s their initial list of the 25 biggest Penguin 2.0 losers:
There are eight porn sites on the list of 25, and four game-related sites. Of those game sites, three are listed in the top 10. (You have to merge the porn sites listed at the bottom with the sites above them to get the actual order of impact.)
There are also several well-known brands, like Dish.com, the Salvation Army, ETS, and CheapOair. REEDS jewelers has been around since 1946 and has stores in 18 states. DailyDot.com, also on the list, is a respected online news site.
The column on the far right shows how much “SEO Visibility” each website has lost — at least for the keywords that SearchMetrics tracks. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these websites are all seeing dramatic traffic losses, because they might still have high visibility for keywords that aren’t being tracked. That said, in the couple years that we’ve been reporting on the Penguin and Panda updates, lists from SearchMetrics and a couple other SEO software companies have generally been considered mostly accurate.
In his blog post, SearchMetrics founder Marcus Tober says the impact from this latest Penguin update is smaller than he expected.
It’s not the update I was expecting. I thought that this Google Penguin update would have had a bigger impact similar to Panda 1. But that didn’t happen. My first analysis shows that many thin sites, sites with thin links and especially untrusted links face the problem. In addition, some small business sites were hit because they haven’t taken SEO serious enough.
He also told us via email that the impact was much stronger in Germany than in the U.S., and SearchMetrics details some of the Penguin-hit websites in Germany in a separate blog post(German language).