Who Was Hit Hardest By Panda 4.0? The Answer May Surprise You

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The past 24 hours have been a wild time for those who either work in, or follow the field of SEO. Google confirmed the rollout of two major updates, one of which was Panda 4.0, an update projected to impact roughly 7.5% of english search queries.

As with any major Google update, there are those who rise in the rankings, and those who get crushed by the Google hammer. So, who was hit hardest and who benefitted the most? The results are somewhat surprising.

Panda 4.0 Losers

Searchmetrics conducted an immediate preliminary analysis, which they say is “based on the organic SEO Visibility for each domain for all researched keywords”, compared to their last data point.

Their findings show that eBay was among the top losers, as well as competing search engine Ask.com. Former SEO darling, RetailMeNot.com, also lost a substantial amount of traffic.

Here is the list of top 10 losers in order of absolute loss, also shown is an estimated percentage of traffic they lost:

  • ask.com > – 50%
  • ebay.com > – 33%
  • biography.com > – 33%
  • retailmenot.com > – 33%
  • starpulse.com > – 50%
  • history.com > – 33%
  • isitdownrightnow.com > – 50%
  • aceshowbiz.com > – 75%
  • examiner.com > – 50%
  • yellowpages.com > – 20%

Panda 4.0 Winners

The real story here might be the Panda 4.0 winners, as they gained a substantially greater percentage of traffic than the losers lost.

The biggest winner was Glassdoor, a site that provides useful information for job seekers. Next on the list is eMedicineHealth, which provides health information for consumers, and Medterms, a medical dictionary.

For the most part, it seems that a lot of good quality content that’s useful to searchers saw huge gains in traffic thanks to Panda 4.0.

Here is the list of top 10 winners, along with the percentage of traffic gained:

  • glassdoor.com > 100%
  • emedicinehealth.com > 500 %
  • medterms.com > 500 %
  • yourdictionary.com > 50%
  • shopstyle.com > 250%
  • zimbio.com > 500 %
  • myrecipes.com > 250%
  • couponcabin.com > 250%
  • buzzfeed.com > 25%
  • consumeraffairs.com > 100%

What Do These Findings Mean?

In the list of losers are mostly sites that publish syndicated or duplicate content. They can also be called aggregators. These sites mainly ranked with information from external sources.

Although, a few of those kinds of sites are among the list of winners, so it’s difficult to make a firm conclusion. Searchmetrics suggests that it is possible the Panda update is still not fully rolled out, and further rankings changes are still to come.

Were you affected by Panda 4.0 positively or negatively? What’s your take on it so far? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.


Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Lead News Writer
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.
Matt Southern
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  • https://twitter.com/dc_armstrong Dustin

    I saw a good amount of my sites come back out of penalties that have been live since 3.0 last May. The link profiles have been clean for about 11 months now… at least clean enough that they shouldn’t have been penalized. Disavow didn’t work… and taking links down and cleaning up the anchor text had no affect. 4.0 seems to have finally completely refreshed these sites and let them back in to the index. WOOHOO! 🙂

  • antony

    I work hard to make sure our site is full of good content, informative news posts and no keyword stuffing yet our site seems to of been overtaken by a portal which is the complete opposite and very little up to date or regularly updated content. Odd.

  • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk Alex Morris

    The eBay situation is stuff of legends. It’s been one disastrous week for them – first the Panda 4.0 slam, then yesterday 200 million accounts were shown to be open to hackers. Apparently this was going on for months. Heads will be rolling. They’re such a huge brand I can’t see people forgetting about the site, but it’s still pretty shocking.

    • Eric

      But heads won’t roll, they can’t: Ebay is California based, Ebay CEO/BoD et al, make large donations to CA Governor candidates, who in turn appoint the board to CALPERS, the state’s pension fund, who in turn buys lots of ebay stock. It is likely CALPERS that is propping up Donahoe as we speak. The pension fund is badly underfunded as it is. If the day ever came when the CA AG would find enough to go after ebay hard (as well as 5-6 other companies), it would be crisis mode politically, since a crashing ebay would also bankrupt the state.

    • http://www.cubimedia.com Richard

      Ebay problems all last week with a few of accounts we use, password reset after password reset. Told them they had a problem, not listening and turns out problems known, they do have problems and massive ones at that.

  • http://emarketingblogger.com/ Navneet Singh

    Rankings of my blog posts have boosted with various competitive search queries. Thanks! to Google 🙂

  • https://www.facebook.com/stephen.c.baldwin Stephen Carl Baldwin

    We’re up slightly in terms of Google impressions and clicks in past 3 days. Might be a coincidence but it could be Panda 4.0

  • http://www.technicalsupporttoday.com/ Karan Rawat

    Hi Matt,

    I saw my analytics account today, i am getting good organic traffic for my website. Follow the simple rule “Don’t Spam.

  • http://ignitevisibility.com John Lincoln

    Thank goodness all of our clients look good. I think you are right, it is targeting sites that publish the same content that is on another website. I am seeing A LOT of stuff shuffling around. Panda 4.0 is out! Watch out!

  • http://wmblogger.com Vishwajeet Kumar

    Thanks! My blog has also receive good amount of search traffic and have gain ranking in few keywords.

  • http://www.y8.io Miri

    My site is hit by Panda 4.0. I don’t understand why?

  • Alan

    My business has suffered 80% to 90% loss in Pages within 2 days. 15 years of hard work is now in the toilet due to Panda 4.

  • http://bbbail.com/ Gina K.

    It looks like our sites survived the latest update. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. Our field is very competitive but it seems even the competition are using “White Hat” practices.

  • http://tonyporto.com Tony Porto

    Funny that they were targeting syndicate sites and conquently buzzfeed goes up.

  • http://www.cualidosoft.com Kundan Bora

    Yeah good content strategy can help you to get better in Google Search with every Update. Be have been updating great content from last 6 Months. This update have really boost ranking.

  • http://www.shriganeshbhat.com shri

    Matt Awesome, you are always with stunning collection of data in your post..!!
    I am really Surprise form the result. After Panda 4.0 internet Marketers are to be aware of ranking client site and much more challenging as compare to older days. It gives us to learn more on search engine next levels.

  • http://www.tayatech.com/ Kaluri Shankar

    I saw my Google analytics yesterday I was little surprised over visits improvement.
    The simple rule is just wait for good time like panda 4.0 and don’t spam by doing useless link building.

  • Karen

    PANDA 4 is a JOKE and GOOGLE is a bigger joker. Try Googling Web design or web design company.

    A company called stectech.com ( they keep changing their names and domain) These guys offer free download of a plugin and then embed link from their plugin back to their website loaded with keywords. You can use link:Stectech.com to see how many websites link to them, but these links are generated by illegal hidden backlinks. How come Google is letting them get away with murder.