Imagine waking up one day and finding out that the world as you know has crashed, thats what happened to many publishers, SEO companies and Publications on Monday April 11, thats when google started rolling out its panda update globally. Some of the sites have found their way up the results but many others have been hit hard some popular sites have lost 95% of traffic virtually signalling an end to their glory days.
The update was targeted at content farms which have increased in the recent years details from groceries to Robotics and giving a high level view of many topics. They were the worst hit and there were other sites which had reviews and user contributed information were also affected.
Though Google might have done this to increase customer satisfaction it might raise anti competitive practices over its recent actions. Among the sites impacted was microsoft Ciao.co.uk which had filed a case against Google with European Commission for unfair monopoly. And not surprisingly content farms owned by Google like youtube and Blogspot have seen over 20% increase in traffic due to the Panda update.
Affected in this update include original content sites like British Medical Journal, probably Google will add an exception for a site like this, but there may be many more small vendors,publishers who might have been affected and many of them might not even know the reason for the reduction in their business. With the sudden and widespread nature of this change it makes one wonder whether Google is targeting content farms or if this is one of its Business tactics to bring in more advertisers.