IndexWatch: Losers 2016 in Google.co.uk

Juan Gonzalez
I studied Regional Studies of Latin American at the University of Cologne - Germany, majoring in "Business Informatics“. I also studied Business Administration and currently I’m doing a Master in International Business Administration. I feel a fascination with SEO and the people who make it possible.
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16. February 2017 0 Comments
With our Google Ranking Factors 2017 videos under out belt, it is now time for our yearly IndexWatch for the United Kingdom. For our IndexWatch 2016, we had a look at all Visibility increases from January 4th, 2016, until January 2nd, 2017. We considered all domains with at least 5 points in the Visibility Index at the start of 2016. The decreases are shown as percentages. Something quite interesting on this list is the fact that some of the domains on here were hit by a "unknown Google Update" last year, but now, they profited hugely from the Google Update last week! More on that later, now the list:
100 domains with the highest visibility decrease on Google.co.uk in 2016
# Domain Change Data
1 bhs.co.uk -99,05%
2 thebodyshop.co.uk -97,81%
3 royal.gov.uk -97,68%
4 live365.com -97,01%
5 digitalcameraworld.com -97,00%
6 woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk -96,17%
7 housetohome.co.uk -93,86%
8 ebid.net -93,47%
9 rakuten.co.uk -90,81%
10 ask.com -88,13%
11 reference.com -87,55%
12 metacafe.com -83,16%
13 pixmania.co.uk -82,18%
14 cookinglight.com -80,82%
15 holidaylettings.co.uk -78,61%
16 hmrc.gov.uk -78,55%
17 animenewsnetwork.com -74,38%
18 lolking.net -72,11%
19 yelp.co.uk -71,02%
20 lyricsmania.com -70,99%
21 imgur.com -70,42%
22 tes.com -69,53%
23 mtv.com -68,87%
24 alexa.com -68,60%
25 pistonheads.com -67,86%
26 lrb.co.uk -67,55%
27 thecarconnection.com -67,26%
28 shopstyle.co.uk -66,35%
29 hollywoodlife.com -65,86%
30 break.com -65,74%
31 nigella.com -65,46%
32 8tracks.com -65,06%
33 lyricsmode.com -64,86%
34 about.com -63,17%
35 whatculture.com -63,17%
36 fastcompany.com -62,14%
37 newsweek.com -61,50%
38 yellowpages.com -60,97%
39 hulu.com -60,67%
40 orbitz.com -59,42%
41 gamesradar.com -58,80%
42 ucdavis.edu -58,37%
43 gutenberg.org -57,87%
44 jango.com -57,09%
45 ibtimes.co.uk -55,80%
46 kayak.com -55,68%
47 discovery.com -55,58%
48 photobucket.com -55,16%
49 go.com -54,79%
50 nymag.com -53,34%
51 zazzle.co.uk -52,92%
52 exchangeandmart.co.uk -52,84%
53 enkivillage.com -52,69%
54 theregister.co.uk -52,47%
55 gawker.com -52,05%
56 wisegeek.com -51,43%
57 warnerbros.com -50,84%
58 myrecipes.com -50,65%
59 newyorker.com -50,43%
60 topman.com -49,99%
61 collegehumor.com -49,81%
62 enchantedlearning.com -49,08%
63 marthastewart.com -48,30%
64 betterhealth.vic.gov.au -47,80%
65 softonic.com -47,10%
66 encyclopedia.com -45,36%
67 ebookers.com -44,85%
68 last.fm -44,68%
69 funnyordie.com -44,56%
70 yandy.com -44,40%
71 topshop.com -44,20%
72 alphr.com -44,10%
73 motherearthnews.com -43,84%
74 ew.com -43,82%
75 bluemountain.com -43,81%
76 wordnik.com -43,45%
77 farnell.com -43,23%
78 cashgenerator.co.uk -43,18%
79 123rf.com -43,12%
80 musica.com -42,94%
81 bhg.com -42,52%
82 ibtimes.com -42,33%
83 cracked.com -42,22%
84 mousebreaker.com -41,74%
85 netmums.com -41,66%
86 jlab.org -41,52%
87 travelzoo.com -40,11%
88 elitedaily.com -39,47%
89 topix.com -39,34%
90 yahoo.com -39,31%
91 tv.com -39,28%
92 jalopnik.com -39,05%
93 futhead.com -38,73%
94 vine.co -38,63%
95 companycheck.co.uk -38,49%
96 wired.co.uk -38,46%
97 sagepub.com -38,10%
98 thefreedictionary.com -37,44%
99 furniturevillage.co.uk -37,32%
100 feelunique.com -37,24%

1. BHS.co.uk (-99%)

Visibility Index of BHS.co.uk and BHS.com on Google.co.uk

This domain opens the list by losing almost all Visibility on Google.co.uk, -99,05%. The Bussines went into administration in April 2016. The new Domain Bhs.com went online in September 2016, selling lighting and home furnishings, which accounted for around three-quarters of the most popular online products sold before the retailer went into administration. Why they did not redirect the content for these popular products to the new domain, in order to push this new domain, is beyond me. Recall our blog post, Buying links that others earned… Why not?.

2. Thebodyshop.co.uk (-98%)

Visibility Index of Thebodyshop.co.uk

The domain was simply redirected to Thebodyshop.com. This domain consolidation is quite interesting because, after the domain move, the Visibility of Thebodyshop.com could be higher now – around 8 Visibility points if we were to look at the combined Visibility for .co.uk + .com (1).

Visibility Index of Thebodyshop.co.uk and Thebodyshop.com

What they did was replayce the content of Thebodyshop.com with the content on Thebodyshop.co.uk. We can therefore see how the Visibility curve of Thebodyshop.co.uk continues at the same pace as it did before the move, just on a new domain name (2). In order to gain Visibility, you could keep the old content in addition to the new one or just redirect all the counterparts 1:1.

3. Royal.gov.uk (-97.7%)

Visibility Index of Royal.gov.uk and Royal.uk on Google.co.uk

We have already covered this case in our blog post “SEOs should care more about using redirects correctly than how much PageRank gets passed“. The official website for the British Monarchy moved from Royal.gov.uk to Royal.uk, in April 2016, and since then all of the old URLs have been redirected to the startpage for the new domain, regardless of whether there is a corresponding page available on the new website or not. This behaviour is seen by Google as a case of soft 404s.

4. Live365.com (-97%)

Visibility Index for Live365.com on Google.co.uk

“We’re back“ is what Live365 announced on their startpage after the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009 expired, in January 2016, ending a 10-year period in which smaller online radio stations, Live365 among them, could pay reduced royalties to labels. In July 2016, Live365 was acquired by Jon Stephenson, owner of content delivery network EmpireStreaming. The following month, the website returned to its live status but since then they have been redirecting every URL for the Domain to the startpage. Leaving Google with no content to work with.

5. Digitalcameraworld.com (-97%)

Visibility Index for Digitalcameraworld.com on Google.co.uk

When we look at the Visibilty drop for Digitalcameraworld.com in March of last year, we can get a good idea what happened by looking for press releases about the domain around that time. It seems they were incorporated into TechRadar, as their “new photography channel”. Many articles were redirected to fitting articles on Techradar, which show a nice ranking switch.

Other pieces of content are simply send to the category page www.techradar.com/digitalcameraworld, which does not manage to pull many rankings by itself. Which is surprising, as category pages have the ability to rank extremely well for a wide array of keywords, if done correctly.

Visibility Index of Digitalcameraworld.com on Google.co.uk

Slow death

Like every year, there are domains which were very popular in the past and are facing a slow death. Most of them are Q&A domains. Some examples are:

Yahoo.com

Visibility of Yahoo.com on Google.co.uk

Wisegeek.com


Visibility of Wisegeek.com on Google.co.uk

Topix.com

Visibility of Topix.com on Google.co.uk

Google Update in February 2017

Some losers were victims of Google’s “Unknown Update” on the 4th of July, 2016, and they were not able to make a comeback:

Netmums.com

Visibility of netmums.com on Google.co.uk

Mousebreaker.com

Visibility of Mousebreaker.com on Google.co.uk

Beginning in February we started to notice unusually large fluctuations within the Google SERPs. Google has yet to commented on any algorithm-update. Did Google possibly turn a dial on how they rate user satisfaction? Here are some examples of the domains on here were hit by a “unknown Google Update” last year, but now, they profited hugely from the Google Update last week:

Elitedaily.com

Visibility of Elitedaily.com on Google.co.uk

Cracked.com

Visibility of Cracked.com on Google.co.uk

Myrecipes.com

Visibility of myrecipes.com on Google.co.uk

We hope you like it and we wish you a lot of success in 2017!

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