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The fall of low quality voucher & price comparison sites in the UK

11:37 on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 | SEO | 20 Comments

Isn't it annoying when you search for a company or brand in Google only to be presented by low quality voucher sites and comparison engines? Quite frequently these sites are auto generating “brand” pages that outrank the actual brands site. Well, Google has had enough it seems!

A blog post at Search Metrics has revealed huge traffic declines for some of the UK’s largest voucher / comparison sites following the release of the new Google Panda update. Some drops are as large as 90%. 

Will anyone miss these sites in SERPS? Do they provide any value to the user?

 

The table above details some of the sites that has lost out. The full list can be found at the Search Metrics blog.

Are the days of auto generating landing pages to rank for brands and domains finally over? I certainly hope so!

 

- UPDATE -

Following on from the comments below, Doug from discountvouchers.co.uk has kindly shared his actual organic traffic traffic in April. Looking at the data above the site has allegedly lost 63% of its traffic. The graph below displays a different story. It would be very interesting to know if other sites on this list are not seeing the suggested drops.

 

Comments & Discussion

(20 Comments)

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Peter Jones

Peter Jones • Years ago

Going back to the original question "Will anyone miss these sites in SERPS? Do they provide any value to the user?" For me they are ruining the search results as they keep coming up even for search related to specific information that they don't offer. For a couple to appear fine but not dozens and dozens. Would i miss them 100% not.

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Get Coupons

Get Coupons • Years ago

We saw traffic drop off when we launched our mobile site and panda went live. Having to rethink our strategy a bit

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SEO Reseller

SEO Reseller • Years ago

Right now, it is important for an SEO company to get positive reviews and reputation online to make the service more competitive.

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Compare Prices

Compare Prices • Years ago

Thanks Doug for that detailed information. "Are the days of auto generating landing pages to rank for brands and domains finally over? I certainly hope so!" - I agree. I also hope they are doing the things needed to eliminate irrelevant links in the SERPs right away.

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barcode maker

barcode maker • Years ago

Huge traffic declines in many vouchers site will help major companiesÂ’ brands in getting notice at first page of search engine.

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Nick

Nick • Years ago

Would be good to see an explanation from SearchMetrics as to the validity of their data, but I'm not sure that would be too forthcoming. There's not much change across the sites I run, but it's still interesting to analyse what's happened post-Panda.

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Chris Gedge

Chris Gedge • Years ago

Rob. No it's not SEO "link bait" in the traditional sense but their blog business model is to publish data that is intended to be picked up by the media and industry outlets. Regardless of how accurate the data is, they both received a huge amount of exposure and branding. I had not heard of either before the Panda update.

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Rob

Rob • Years ago

I dont think it was a linkbait, Sistrix.com has similar data:

http://www.sistrix.com/blog/990-google-panda-on-its-way-to-europe.html

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Robin Moore

Robin Moore • Years ago

Hi Lee. We'll just have to wait for their apology / climb down piece in the next few days.... no real harm done.

Agreed - Search metrics won't get any new customers from the voucher/code/review website world but they have got exposure (whether in a good or bad light) - they've got their name out there.

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Lee

Lee • Years ago

Their link bait was great purely from a link point of view... but having seen how poor their data is they'll never have me as a customer. I wonder how many other people are the same? Most of the current talk of their post is how wrong it was... hardly the impression they wanted to give off.

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Chris Gedge

Chris Gedge • Years ago

Agreed Robin. Massive PR / link bait opportunity for them. They even made the BBC!

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Robin Moore

Robin Moore • Years ago

It might upset some onlookers but boy did Search Metrics hit the spot with their article; whether the data is accurate or not they will gained a large number of backlinks from the SEO, analytics and affiliate communities.... clever people indeed.

They can always release a new 'update' post next week apologising and receive a heap more backlink referrals and chatter in Twitter.

They are onto a link-bait WIN whether their core data is accurate or not. They even got a backlink from the beeb... now that link is golden!

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Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark • Years ago

One of our clients on the list hasn't seen a decline in traffic either, just thought I'd pipe up on that as well.

It has been a strange week that's for sure!

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Lee

Lee • Years ago

@Chris Gedge, here is a before/after in the voucher niche - http://couponcroc.co.uk/panda.jpg

Some big winners, some big losers, but they don't particularly tally with the numbers being passed around by Searchmetrics.

That image is 170 reasonable search volume keywords in the voucher niche.

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Ted Dracker

Ted Dracker • Years ago

These 'statistics' comps. should at least post data that is somewhat accurate. They can cause undue harm to comps. advertising revenues etc.

Or boost other sites (for whatever reason).

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Sam

Sam • Years ago

I've spoken to some webmasters and other folks in the industry who work for some of the other mentioned sites and though it's not my information to share (i.e. won't be giving any names) I can tell you that there are other people on the "hardest hit" list who have not seen any decline in traffic from natural search.

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Doug Scott

Doug Scott • Years ago

Still not seeing anything really in comparison to last week, plus no change in any analysis we have looked at

Doug

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Rob

Rob • Years ago

Thanks to Doug for that information. Do you track exactly how much traffic is coming from Google? Is it still the same?

Thanks!

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Chris Gedge

Chris Gedge • Years ago

Very interesting Doug. Have you noticed any organic ranking drops at all as this data would suggest?

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Doug Scott

Doug Scott • Years ago

www.discountvouchers.co.uk

We are seeing no change in our traffic levels.

Doug Scott
Director

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