IndexWatch 2012: Losers

Yesterday, we looked at the winners in last year’s Google-index, while today, I want to show you the losers for the same period of time. Just as with the winners, I put together a list of 50 Domains that saw a very strong percentage decrease in their Google SERP visibility. I tried to best rid the list of domains that won or lost their rankings through a domain-change, as long as they did not have an interesting story to them.

Let’s rock:

The Penguin-update was surely one of the biggest SEO-topics in 2012. Cloaked behind the veil of a cute name, this update is another one of Google’s increased efforts to punish SEO-methods that are not Google Webmaster Guideline conform. If we look at the Top-50, we get the feeling that Google might have actually achieved their goal: many of the domains show a large decrease in visibility at the exact date of Penguin being rolled out. A closer look at the common cause for this filter shows us a collective trigger: massive unnatural linkbuilding.

‘The’ update-topic of 2011 still has a grip on us: Google is regularly rolling out new iterations and improvements for their Panda-algorithm, which increase the filter’s accuracy. The probability for sites that once got hit with panda to get hit again with one of the updates is relatively high, as we can see for many of the domains on this list.

Price-comparison sites
It seems that in 2012, Google has not undergone a fundamental change when it comes to their relationship with price-comparisons that are not part of Google. With,, und we have 4 general and several specialized price-comparison sites in the Top-50 list. is the most notable of them all. At the end of 2008, the domain sported a Visibility Index score of around 400 points, 4years later they have just about 1.17 points left. Ever since 2009, we can see a steady decline in Visibility. Since the time that Google is officially communicating their updates (which we show you with our event-pins in the Toolbox), we have a decent ground to stand on when we make assumptions on the cause of visibility losses: for nearly each and every Panda-iteration we could see another decrease in visibility. This means that Google is continuously upgrading their algorithm and sites like seem to fall right into the crosshairs of what unwanted pages look like.

You would think that relocating from one domain to the next should be a routine step for both website-operators as well as Google: copy all the needed files, do a quick 301-redirect based on URLs, update the DNS-entries and all will be swell. This aside, we still see roadblocks along the way that people happily run into head first. A beacon for this in our list is the domain after they got bought by Rakuten it looks as though Germany should now use The domain move did not go as intended, as now, both domains are in the google-index and when we sum up their visibility, we are still at a noticeably disadvantage from where once stood.

Two domains on this list are not here on their own free will: both as well as declared bankruptcy last year. Google reacted quickly to this and demoted the visibility for both domains.


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