How Google’s Panda Filter May Have Hurt Ask, eBay & Google-Backed RetailMeNot

On Tuesday, Google released a rewrite to their Panda filter algorithm and both large and small sites took notice. Some sites gained in traffic and some sites dove in traffic, we have the Winners & Losers chart for Panda 4.0 already published.

But as of this morning, Searchmetrics has updated their weekly US charts, showing the real impact for the top sites that lost traffic. In our previous reports, Searchmetrics told us that was hurt most, losing about 75% or more of their search visibility (not traffic) from Google. It seems like eBay and Google’s venture-backed RetailMeNot also lost a tremendous amount of search visibility, about 50% of their Google impressions.

Before I share the charts with you, has issued a statement saying the reports greatly overstate the impact on They do admit to ranking changes in Google but say they have diversified their traffic since. Drops ~70% in SEO Visibility

Here is a chart showing dropping about 72% in their SEO visibility in Google from Searchmetrics:

searchmetrics-ask Drops ~50% in SEO Visibility

Here is a chart showing dropping about 48% in their SEO visibility in Google from Searchmetrics:

searchmetrics-ebay Drops ~50% in SEO Visibility

Here is a chart showing dropping about 48% in their SEO visibility in Google from Searchmetrics:


As we said in our Panda 4.0 winner and losers story at Search Engine Land.

Only Losers Really Know If They Lost

As we said with the Panda 3.5 Winners & Losers report, lists like this aren’t perfect. The sites above may have had gains and drops for other reasons; less visibility this week because last week they were visible for different news stories, for example.

It’s also worth remembering that this is a sample of search terms. The only way to really know if any update has hurt or helped you is to look at your search-driven traffic from Google, rather than particular rankings or lists like this, which have become popular after Google updates. If you’ve seen a significant increase, you’ve probably been rewarded by it. A big decrease? Then you were probably hit.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Art Enke

    Is it just me or is anybody else waiting for Yahoo! Answers to drop off the SERPs too?

  • SEOMarketingProgram

    I’m glad to see Google rolling up their sleeves and ranking down the auto-generated junk content. Google has their fingers in a lot of pies but at the end of the day they are a search engine first and foremost. If that people are turned off by the number of searches that turn up useless robotic content, that’s a huge chunk of ad revenue that walks away.

    Thanks for pointing out these statistics! Warms my heart to see! :D

  • Amy Barrett

    Wow, finally Ask gets hit they are spammers on a mass scale and this was long overdue.

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