On May 20th, Google sent out a haymaker (announced by Matt Cutts on Twitter, keeping it casual) in the form of the Panda 4.0 update, attacking low quality and spammy content. This had a huge and immediate effect on the entire map of the internet, proving that Google is still the Muhammad Ali of causing an online ruckus.
Here’s a quick lowdown on the champions and the knock-outs:
Before we look at who was knocked out in round 4, let’s have a look at who was rewarded for their quality content by Google:
Emedicinehealth – I haven’t heard of it either, and a visit to the site suggests a site that is identical to WebMD but not as user friendly, but it was one of the biggest winners after Panda 4.0, with a 500% increase in traffic.
Whosdatedwho.com – Surely the hottest Google keyphrase of all time is “did Tom Cruise and Cher used to date?” – now whosdatedwho, an image heavy but very detailed site tracking the love lives of celebs, will give you the answer with a 250% traffic increase (the answer is yes).
Thinkexist.com – This web 1.0 directory of quotations has seen a 250% increase in traffic. It doesn’t look great but a quick search of the word “bum” yielded 6 pages of results – so my research proves that the database is thorough.
EBay – the most reported loser of Panda 4.0 saw an astonishing drop off in traffic on Wednesday, losing a third of its usual massive footfall.
Aceshowbiz.com – this bizarre entertainment site (with the catchy tagline of “The Ace in Entertainment Zone”) lost 75% of its traffic, whereas the more deserving entertainment and pop culture site zimbio.com saw a 500% increase.
Examiner.com – This site is a bit of a jack of all trades, covering a huge range of subjects – and Google decided it was the master of none, with traffic seeing a dent of 50% after Tuesday’s hit.
It’s too early to see the full effects of the new Panda update, but these early statistics suggest that Google are not playing around – content is still king. eBay and other large sites such as ask.com will recover quickly, but this shows that even the biggest brands out there need to keep on their toes.