The new Panda algorithm update for Google went live in the UK this week and there already appears to be some clear winners and losers.
An analysis by the digital marketing firm Go Optimisation has found that sites with duplicate content, too much advertising and small amounts of content saw a sharp decrease in their Google rankings.
Those sites with well known brands, video, plenty of updated content and social integration experienced the greatest rise in rankings. It is too soon to tell how the new update will affect the travel industry as a whole but it has already had an impact on several travel sites.
According to searchenginewatch.com sites in travel that have seen the biggest drop off were airfaresflights.co.uk, justtheflight.co.uk and worldtravelguide.net which all saw a decrease in traffic of more than 80%.
In the winners’ enclosure laterooms.com saw an 18% increase in traffic. Overall, voucher code sites were the hardest hit by Panda.
Matt Adams, marketing director of Go Optimisation, said that while the full effect of Panda has yet to be seen, social media and video look set to play an ever important role in Google search.
“We’ve seen, firsthand, pages with videos gain positions, whilst other pages (without video, on the same website and built on the same template) have remained static,” Adams said.
“Google’s own statements about Panda have focused on the quality of the content, but in the most competitive searches, social media seems to be a deciding factor for the highest positions.”