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Google algorithm update affects about 35 percent of searches

Friday, November 11th, 2011

GoogleLast year, Google completed its Google Caffeine update, which allowed for a far faster indexing ability for new content across the web.  Now, Google claims to be building on that update by introducing a new algorithmic improvement which will decide when a search request requires a more updated, or “fresher”, results page.

This new update affects about 35% of searches, but as Google has also reported, that means there may be just one or two different result listings in 35% of searches.   Bottom line: the average searcher will probably not notice the change, but websites with a large online presence may see a  significant gain or loss in their rankings.

For another take on this see: Google’s SSL change

As one might expect, some of the “winners” of this algorithm change include news sites  and online retailers.  However, we are surprised to see pizza chains and communications companies among those who came out on top:

Domain SEO Visibility 10/30/2011 SEO Visibility 11/06/2011 Percent
last.fm 1.232.115 1.386.908 12,56
overstock.com 774.752 814.747 5,16
lonelyplanet.com 377.565 412.446 9,24
rockhall.com 36.387 62.61 72,07
marthastewart.com 147.258 170.392 15,71
wikiquote.org 292.471 315.054 7,72
dominos.com 65.37 86.572 32,43
papajohns.com 81.411 101.561 24,75
squidoo.com 386.806 406.93 5,20
soundcloud.com 211.331 229.032 8,38
playstation.com 159.381 176.529 10,76
comcast.com 170.841 187.415 9,70
hotels.com 195.153 210.944 8,09
vzw.com 40.428 54.978 35,99
guitarcenter.com 89.295 103.49 15,90
cox.com 80.679 91.86 13,86
buy.com 152.926 163.761 7,09
citibank.com 109.88 120.652 9,80
scottrade.com 22.257 32.891 47,78
aim.com 67.757 77.448 14,30
southwestvacations.com 18.632 27.985 50,20
boostmobile.com 31.092 39.996 28,64
hawaiianair.com 27.076 35.97 32,85
nationalcar.com 17.583 26.454 50,45
skype.com 89.053 97.38 9,35
garmin.com 62.918 71.229 13,21

Just as with the “winning” sites, those sites on the losing end also came from diverse industries, and some news sites were also unexpectedly included:

Domain SEO Visibility 10/30/2011 SEO Visibility 11/06/2011 Percent
comcast.net 367.672 283.036 -23,02
state.ny.us 204.599 151.322 -26,04
univision.com 117.392 65.72 -44,02
usmagazine.com 254.976 210.329 -17,51
newseum.org 95.132 58.367 -38,65
the570.com 50.775 23.214 -54,28
americanexpress.com 132.096 109.808 -16,87
lyricspick.com 49.287 29.36 -40,43
capitalone.com 112.678 95.609 -15,15
peoplestylewatch.com 63.439 48.143 -24,11
Realtor.org 44.23 30.849 -30,25
jezebel.com 76.736 63.698 -16,99
plentyoffish.com 43.898 30.987 -29,41
radioshack.com 54.039 41.279 -23,61
gizmag.com 54.231 41.63 -23,24
anandtech.com 50.435 37.963 -24,73
independent.co.uk 67.858 55.691 -17,93
cpsc.gov 73.974 62.175 -15,95
nj.gov 78.117 66.367 -15,042
stylelist.com 26.766 15.038 -43,817
justinbieberzone.com 35.292 23.903 -32,271
shoplocal.com 53.484 42.522 -20,496
hamstersoft.com 28.616 17.74 -38,007
bncollege.com 53.543 42.925 -19,831
mbnanetaccess.com 62.795 52.32 -16,681
blogger.com 50.426 40.172 -20,335
netscape.com 52.276 42.035 -19,59

This update is one of the major ways Google is attempting to make their results as relevant as possible for users, and also to keep one more step ahead innovations from competitors such as the Yahoo!-Bing Search Alliance.  It also offers another reason why website owners must stay on top of search engine behavior and changes.

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