There were a lot of losers in Google’s content farm clean up, there’s no getting around it. And while continued adjustments on Google’s part may improve seemingly blacklisted sites’ visibility, it’s still unknown the extent of damage we’re going to see.
But it’s not all bad. Certain sites did see improved page rank because of Google’s changes, whether or not the search giant wanted them to. We all know by now that the intentions were to “provide better rankings for high-quality sites – sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.”
In general, analytics firm Sistrix noted that vendor and bargain sites like Etsy and DHGate saw their numbers climb, as did research encyclopedias like Britannica. How-to sites also benefitted – and interestingly enough, the Google-hated eHow actually experienced a boost in Web visibility. Here’s a little background on the top ten sites that experienced a boost in Google visibility (per Sistrix’s VisibilityIndex) as of February 24.
Popeater.com – 24 percent increase
Popeater is an AOL property specializing in celebrity gossip of the moment. AOL affiliate TMZ is extremely similar to the site, although TMZ drives significantly more traffic than PopEater does. The site’s Alexa traffic ran is 272.
DHGate.com – 23 percent increase
This wholesale online retailer describes itself as an “e-commerce marketplace that has revolutionized global trade with China.” The site allows consumers to purchase items directly from Chinese manufacturers, and sells everything from tablets to prom dresses. However, it has an Alexa traffic rank of 1,328, and approximately 36 percent of its traffic views are one page only. Until last week, the average time spent on its site was steadily decreasing.
Instructables.com – 21 percent increase
Instructables is like eHow, but with videos. It’s similar to Mahalo, which actually was noticeably damaged by the Google algorithm adjustment. It has an Alexa traffic rank of 648, and while it gained more pageviews after the search alternations, its rank has been dropping since.
Sears.com – 20 percent increase
This site should need no explanation. The retailer’s site has an Alexa traffic rank of 213, but oddly enough, since February 28 (four days after Google implemented its changes) its traffic has taken a nosedive.
Softpedia.com – 20 percent increase
This online library is full of free and trial software for various operating systems. It also offers instructions and self-help tech articles.
Dailymotion.com – 19 percent increase
Dailymotion is a French-based, English-language site offering online video publishing and sharing. Its content primarily focuses on pop culture, film, and music, although there are also video blogs and categories such as sports and news. In France, the site is extremely popular, and even globally it earns an Alexa ranking of 109.
Scribd.com – 18 percent
Scribd is an online platform for uploading and downloading text to the PC, tablet, or phone. It’s been a largely well-reviewed site, and one that’s only been around since 2007. In 2009, it launched its branded reader for large companies like The New York Times and TechCrunch, and the feature has been very popular. However the site has had legal troubles regarding copyright infringement and was accused of publishing pirated content and taking advantage of writers. It has an Alexa traffic rank of 312, and its bounce rate has been climbing slowly over the last six months.
Britannica.com – 18 percent
Here’s another that needs no introduction. The online encyclopedia began offering many of its articles for free (provided they were linked from an outside source) in the last few years to improve page rank. The site is strangely popular in Nigeria, and most of its visits are bounces. It has an Alexa traffic rank of 2,740.
Techbargains.com – 17 percent
An online electronics vendor that is fairly reputable and retains its visitors for an average of two minutes per visit to the site. It’s traffic rank seems to jump around a lot, but for a niche shopping site that isn’t terribly surprising. It has an Alexa traffic rank of 1,302 (401 in San Francisco, big surprise), and continues to see itself increasingly show up in search results since Feb. 25.
Epinions.com – 17 percent
Epinions is a property of Shopping.com, and claims to offer to “unbiased reviews by real people.” Shopping.com is owned by eBay, which also received a boost from the Google search update. Epinions has a bounce rate of 67 percent and an Alexa traffic rank of 805. It experienced a significant increase in overall stats, but since the 27 has seen its traffic, pageviews, and time spend on site decrease. However, after getting a boost in showing up in search results last week, it’s starting to dive.
A few other intriguing winners were Photobucket, Facebook, and Google property Blogspot (go figure). EHow didn’t quite crack the top 10, coming in at the 16 spot. It did, however, earn a 15 percent traffic increase. But from the looks of it, sites that weren’t performing well prior to Google’s search changes may be heading for the same fate, so you have to hope the Internet titan is making the required adjustments it says it is.