With the early August release of the Panda algorithm update on a global scale we saw substantial changes in several European markets. We've previously reported on Panda's impact in France, Germany, and Austria
SearchMetrics, after looking at a number of keywords somewhere between several hundred thousand and 10 million, once again has collected data on organic visibility, this time for Switzerland, Italy, and Spain.
Switzerland Winners & Losers
Switzerland is an interesting case because the country is so multilingual; searches for French, German, and Italian keywords were tabulated. Switzerland saw a truly substantial drop on several major sites, including indeed.ch, a job search site which saw a 98.59 percent decrease in visibility; wikio.de, a news and shopping site which saw a 93.71 percent decrease in visibility; and alatest.de, a gadget review site which saw a 90.44 percent decrease in visibility.
The big winners include swissinfo.ch, a news site that saw a 74.08 percent visibility increase; informer.com, a web development site that saw a 72.27 percent visibility increase; and the Swiss T-Mobile online site, which saw a 69.47 percent visibility increase.
Italy Winners & Losers
Visibility losses in Italy tended to be more moderate than in Switzerland, but there were still sites that were hit especially hard. Annunciasubito.com, a "bulletin board" site, saw a 98.63 percent visibility loss; ciaoblog.com, a technology article site, saw a 95.54 percent visibility loss; and gioxx.org, a blog focusing largely on technology items, saw a 94.29 percent visibility loss.
In Italy, it was largely the existing giants that won. YouTube saw a 90.03 percent visibility increase, informer.com saw a 93.16 percent visibility increase, and Facebook, Yahoo, Blogspot, Apple, and Twitter also appearaed on the list of winners.
Spain Winners & Losers
Losers in Spain included addictinggames.com (97.57 percent visibility loss), quejuegos.org (another game site, 96.16 percent visibility loss), and technomaps (a tech blog, 90.49 percent visibility loss).
As with Italy, many of the winners in Spain were sites we already know. YouTube saw a 46 percent visibility increase, Twitter saw a 48 percent increase, Android saw a 58 percent increase, and Wikipedia, Mozilla, and Flickr also appeared high on the list. Other Spanish winners included the news sites Kiosko.net (55.4 percent visibility increase) and invertia.com (70.27 percent visibility increase).
Second Opinions on the Panda Release
While the data is provided by SearchMetrics, others are also examining the overall impact of Panda. Sistrix recently released a study of visibility increases and losses in Germany.
While many names can be seen on "top losers" lists for both Sistrix and SearchMetrics, the details look very different. One of the top losers on Sistrix list can actually be seen in the Switzerland list above: alatest saw a 70 percent visibility loss according to the Sistrix index, coming in as the second most hurt website. Kelkoo.de, another gadget website, was hurt the most, with an 86 percent visibility loss
The Big Picture
Who's winning and who's losing overall? It's tough to say without looking at it region-by-region.
In Germany, Facebook fell; in Italy and Spain, it rose. Big sites like YouTube, Android, Apple, Twitter, and Wikipedia saw a big boost in some regions; in others, there was no visible impact. In Spain, free game sites seemed to take the brunt of the blow. In both Switzerland and Italy, it was previously top-dog gadget and technology sites that got hit hard.
Every region is showing dramatically different results. If nothing else, this confirms that Google isn't trying to hinder any specific category of site, but is instead focusing on other "spam metrics" that penalize individual sites and that can have a difficult-to-predict cascading effect on the rest of the SERP. We'll keep you updated as more information is released on Panda's impact in other regions.