UK Sites: Some 2015 SEO Winners and Losers
It’s always a fascinating exercise to look at which websites were the biggest gainers or losers in any one year. The constantly changing world of SEO means that one year’s strategy simply doesn’t guarantee success for the following year.
Sistrix produces an annual visibility index which measured last year’s losers. Previous drops were blamed on Google and its algorithm updates, but fewer of these appeared last year, meaning that falls are likely to be due to changes in domain name and redesigns. H&M were a key loser here – inadvertently cutting their top-ranking keywords to 181 from 829 after a site redesign.
Thefind.com was the biggest loser in the domain world last year. It was an e-commerce engine purchased in March by Facebook and later closed after a series of erratic ranking placements.
Adviceguide.org immediately looked like a huge loser too, but actually it was a site that rebranded to Citizensadvice.org.uk. It seems to have caught up since on the visibility transfer front, though.
Bankfashion.co.uk shows how sites can really make serious errors. A redirect error meant that the brand’s search visibility was eroded almost overnight as it merged into Ark.co.uk, with Bank site pages simply pointing to the Ark home page rather than to their own page equivalent within the site. This points to the need to always use a good digital agency with specific search expertise when initiating a change in digital direction, particularly where e-commerce is involved. Contact an agency such as http://www.rycomarketing.ie for more information.
Last.fm was impacted by Spotify and bad redesigns, seeing a nosedive in search as a result.
In terms of the sites with the best search visibility, an SEO agency in Dublin will tell you that the giants dominate – Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, WedMD, Walmart, Foodnetwork and TripAdvisor, along with Allrecipes.com. Other big climbers included Etsy, Groupon and Food.com. Two of last year’s biggest gains were for Google Play and YouTube, both Google properties, further consolidating the tech giant’s digital dominance.
In conclusion, search is becoming ever more critical to digital success. Rankings are more competitive than ever, and big and small brands alike are employing ever more segmented and targeted strategies to ensure they achieve dominance in their particular market niche. The message remains: don’t leave search to chance – consult the experts.