Online news sites in the United Kingdom are among the biggest winners as Google’s Panda update – nicknamed the Farmer update – rolls out to its country-specific search portals.
The change to the ranking algorithm of Google has been trialled on the main Google.com site in recent weeks, but only this week made it to country-code portals like Google.co.uk.
Its nickname – the Farmer update – reflects its main aim, which is to downgrade the rankings given to sites that simply scrape or ‘farm’ content from elsewhere on the web.
However, it has also had benefits for some categories of website, including online news outlets and social media venues.
The Mirror and the Independent have gained 24.9 and 21.5 per cent search visibility respectively, according to figures from Searchmetrics, while the Metro newspaper group scored a 21.6 per cent increase.
Meanwhile, blogging site WordPress gained 18.6 per cent visibility, Google-owned YouTube picked up 18.9 per cent and audio-sharing site SoundCloud rose by 17.5 per cent in its presence on the search engine results pages.
The update has brought down rankings of many sites, including that of Microsoft-owned comparison site Ciao.
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