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How Google’s Panda Update Has Harmed Tech Blogs

Google have often provided a lifeline to small independent websites, but recently in changes masquerading as a clamp down on spam and aggregators, page rankings have shifted towards large corporations and away from smaller blogs.

The new Panda update has caused hundreds of websites’ page rankings to plummet and publishers, quite rightly, aren’t happy. Google Panda came into effect on 11th April with the aim of returning search results from high-quality web sites and downgrading those relying heavily on search engine optimisation.

Review Centre Takes a Hit

Take consumer reviews website, Review Centre which saw one the biggest drops in ranking and Google based traffic.”We saw our US traffic drop, and we knew it was only a matter of weeks until it reached the UK. It’s too early to say precisely what kind of a drop we’ve seen in the UK, but it is likely to be on a par with what we’ve seen in the US.”

Review Centre says that the Panda update is just not working. “we’ve stayed on the right side of Google’s guidelines, while at the same time we’ve witnessed so many others show a blatant disregard for them – and continue to perform well” they said.

Tech and Gadget Bloggers Slide Down the Rankings

Tech websites have been particularly hammered by Google’s crackdown. Fellow tech web sites such as Tech Radar, Reghardware, PC Advisor and IT ProPortal have seen their visibility on Google plummet. Pocket Lint saw a staggering 98.72 per cent drop after the arrival of Panda.

No Rewards for Original Content?

Summing up the feelings of a lot of disgruntled web publishers Pocket Lint said “We put out all original content. I could understand it if we copied and pasted everyone else and were a massive aggregator of crap. But we don’t and we aren’t,” said Stuart Miles, editor of the site.”As a small publisher, we’re always trying our best to bring good stories to the table.”

What really rubs salt in the wound for small publishers is that eBay UK, the National Lottery and This is Money were all listed by Searchmetrics as seeing the credibility of their sites rise under the Panda update. It’s not a conspiracy theory or a blind attack at Google, but it’s just clear to see that Google gain more from promoting big name sites like those listed above whilst small time publishers (though they aren’t being purposefully targeted) are becoming collateral damage and unfortunately they just don’t have the power behind them to take on the search giant.

Unless some sort of consumer rights group intervenes which is highly unlikely, Google’s not going to change so it’s up to publishers to adapt to changes. With the internet it’s a case of survival of the fittest.

Tell us your story

Have you been affected by Google’s algorithm changes? What’s your website and how has traffic changed? Let us know on our Twitter and Gadget Helpline Facebook Page

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