Matt Cutts mentioned in a tweet about a Panda update that was rolled on the 19th of April. And then Google announced yesterday about a change in search algorithm to combat webspam. Searchmetrics put out a list of winners and losers of the Webspam update.
But Matt Cutts has clarified that the sites shown to have been affected by the Webspam in the Searchmetrics list have had little or no impact due to the Webspam update. It is the Panda 3.5 in play, which rolled out on April 19th which is responsible for the lost or gained search rankings of these sites.
The winners of the update are sites like Spotify, Menshealth, Observer and The Verge. The biggest losers include Cult Of Mac, Techdirt and Digg.
The Winners are:
News sites of the big brands have gained from the Panda 3.5 refresh. The names include Spotify, The New York Observer, NME, Mens Health, Poynter, and Marvel. This list of sites that gained better visibility is based on a study of 50,000 keywords, for 5 million domains, in the first 100 results compared to last week.
The Losers are:
The sites that lost their rankings have been observed to have been those that used databases to amass information, press portals and sites with heavy templates.
Search experts are approaching this list with caution, because the data is of last week, and it was during that time only that webmasters reported of sudden drops. These were later found to be due to a problem in Googles parked domain classifier.
The webspam update has been rolled out but the Panda 3.5 came before that, so if you have seen a drop in your rankings then you have been hit by the Panda. If the rankings are up- you have been rewarded!