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Google Panda Estimates Are All Over the Board, and None Are Accurate

Reports of traffic changes aren’t very accurate.

I’ve seen a number of reports estimating the damage to major content sites from Google’s so-called Panda updates.

I’ve come to one conclusion: none of them are more than directionally accurate.

Yes, we know that a lot of content sites have taken a beating, but by how much?

Early reports focused on the number of search terms the sites ranked for. This doesn’t have as much correlation to actual traffic as you might think.

Now we’re starting to see reports from metrics firms such as Hitwise.

My guess is the Hitwise data is being taken out of context. Or Hitwise is overstating the effects.

If I’m reading this spreadsheet the way the Forbes blog posts suggests I do, I’d think that traffic at eZineArticles is down 77%.

I suppose it’s possible. In March EzineArticles.com said it’s traffic was down 10%-30%. If you believe that most of its traffic came from Google, then this wouldn’t match up with Hitwise’ data. (I’m not putting it past any publisher to understate the hit it took.)

Same goes for many other sites on the list. Either they get a ton more traffic from non-Google sources than we think, or these estimates of traffic drops are wrong. Keep in mind that most of these estimates are based on profiling; few of them are directly measured.

My point: take all of these numbers as merely “directionally accurate”. Yeah, these sites have been hit. But these numbers may not give the right magnitude.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Michael Martinez

    For well-known sites, Google’s search referral traffic may not constitute a majority of visits. Direct Traffic and Referrals from other sites may comprise more than half a well-known site’s traffic.

  2. Indian Marketer

    Ranking of my websites have gone up after Google Panda update. Some of my sites are getting 3x more traffic than they used to get before the Panda update. So, assuming from this i would say Google Panda update has affected content firms somewhere 20-50% on average.

  3. Domain Lords

    Pando didn’t crush original content. We saw most sites got up, and the #1 sites stayed #1.

    Panda just wiped out crap.

    Good job google, you crushed most of the crappy sites.

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