Google Core Update Winners And Losers Analyzed

Chris CrumSearch

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About a week ago, Google launched a big update to its core algorithm, catching the attention of many webmasters and SEOs. It was also revealed that Panda is now part of Google's core algorithm, but consensus is that this particular update wasn't Panda related.

Searchmetrics, which often compiles lists of "winners" and "losers" from significant Google updates based on their search visibility, has released some findings on this one.

The biggest loser, according to the report was TheAtlantic.com, which it says has primarily lost with old URLs that ranked for brand keywords and entities.

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Searchmetrics founder and CTO Marcus Tober said in a blog post, “It is apparent that many loser domains are classic print publishers and their losses in rankings mainly stem from older content pieces. Additional publishers who lost rankings are newyorker.com, vanityfair.com, arstechnica.com, fastcompany.com and economist.com.”

The firm found gains for sites with "current" or "holistic"content, referring to those covering a topic comprehensively.

"One of the top winners from this update according to Searchmetrics’ analysis is gq.com," a spokesperson for Searchmetrics tells us. "On gq.com the biggest winning URL is a comprehensive article about NFL star Tom Brady. The article contains photos and a video and a lot of text (more than 3000 words including an interview)."

Other winners included time.com, qz.com, howstuffworks.com, politico.com, and inquisitr.com. Educational game sites like brainpop.com and mathplayground.com also gained.

"According to Searchmetrics, whether a publisher or brands won or lost for a specific keyword is dependent on the individual QDF (query deserves freshness) score that Google calculates – this is linked to whether the topic/search relates to current news and events and user behavior, particularly search volume," the spokesperson says. "For topics that are current, publishers with current content witnessed visibility gains."

Searchmetrics notes that the trend is not noticeable in international markets yet, suggesting the update hasn't rolled out on a global level so far.

Find the full analysis here.

Images via Thinkstock, Searchmetrics

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.