Google made it perfectly clear that they are changing their search formula, and they are not afraid to penalize big-name offenders. In fact, “Up to 80% of eBay’s prime search result listings had been banished from the first Google results page,” Business Insider reports. Some of E-bay’s most valuable search listings — specifically its organic search listings — have plummeted by 50%, Re/Code continues.
After a great deal of debate and speculation, the majority of marketers have concluded that Panda, the algorithm updates holding sites accountable for high quality content, is not to blame for E-Bay’s troubles. Instead, the motion was allegedly part of a manual action — also taken by Google — to remove low quality and/or spammy content.
Google Panda has notoriously lowered the rankings of other top brands, however. “Barry Diller’s Ask.com, and A&E’s Biography.com and History.com have all seen their search results decimated in the last 48 hours by Panda 4.0,” according to Business Insider. Although the algorithm updates have many worried about the future of internet marketing and practicality of search engine optimization (SEO), Google maintains that it is merely trying to deliver the best results to its users. “Google has always said that the number one goal of its search engine is to point readers to the highest quality webpages possible, and to bury results for low-quality sites,” Business Insider concludes. E-Bay and the others, experts say, were likely using outdated SEO techniques — so their plummet is, at least in part, their own fault.
“As a Natural Search guy from way back, I’ve applauded Google’s efforts to devalue spammy sites,” says Jeremy Simpson,Director of Search Marketing at Suburban Marketing. “However, you also can’t forget Google is in the business of making money just like everybody else, and I’m sure they’d rather us visit Google shopping links over eBay links.”