Now that the dust has settled on the Google changes which came with the so called Panda update we are starting to see which sites have moved up the rankings and which have taken a hit.
A few of the big winners are in the field of heavyweight news providers such as the BBC, the Times Online and the Telegraph. Other sites which are now more visible than before include YouTube and Yahoo. But what about the losers?
One of the factors which now seems clear is that the Panda changes have badly affected sites which contain content identical to that which can be found on alternative sites. That was, of course, one of the big reasons behind this change; to get rid of content farms and low quality sites which only have information which has been cut and pasted from other places on the internet.
However, one other area where this impact has also been felt is in the world of price comparison sites, and this has caused a bit of a controversy in some quarters. The reason behind the problems is that one of the price comparison sites which has been most badly affected is Ciao.co.uk.
This site has seen its visibility cut back by almost 95%, which is a staggering blow to any website. This isn’t all though, as the owner of the Ciao site is none other than Google’s big rival Microsoft. In fact, Ciao has been heavily involved with the recent battles between these two tech giants and this has led some observers to claim that the Google results have been manipulated to punish Microsoft.
The Google head of search evaluation, called Scott Huffman, has strongly denied this claim and we will need to wait to see if there is any more fallout to come from this issue.
How has the Panda update affected internet users in general? So far the response has been restrained but fairly enthusiastic. The majority of the pages which have climbed the rankings are more useful and attractive sites which people are probably genuinely interested in.
Meanwhile, some of the other losers include hubpages, eHow and ElectricPig. In some cases they can certainly feel a little hard done by, while some of the owners of low quality sites are no doubt fully aware of why they have been downgraded.
All that remains now is to see whether Google keep on weeding out the sites they want the public to see less of and promoting the ones which they believe offer a better user experience. For the moment it seems as though the majority of internet users are going to be the big winners.