William

GooglePanda. Penguin. Hummingbird. The names conjure up images of harmlessly cute animals.

But many owners of small and medium-sized travel websites worldwide hate the sound of these animal names because they’re also Google’s monikers for its updates to its search algorithm. These updates changed the search result rankings, inflicting damage on these sites’ visitor numbers.

More than a dozen owners of these independent, consumer-facing, service-oriented travel websites have told Tnooz in email and phone interviews that they have lost between 20% and 70% of their traffic during the past three years. The drops coincided with Google’s search engine updates.

In one sense, this story is “old news.” The first Panda update was in February 2011; the first Penguin was in April 2012. Hummingbird came around September of this year.

But what’s been overlooked by the media is how several travel websites have never fully recovered from the algorithm updates. Many of these companies promote hotels, vacation rentals, plane tickets, or cruises. They depend significantly on search-engine referrals for customers, so their revenue is almost proportionally linked to any changes in traffic.

The traffic tap gets cut off

For some sites, the dropoff in visitors came slowly. Travellerspoint, for example, experienced gradual decline in traffic since the second version of Panda. Today, in early December, it is sitting at about 30% of the traffic it had back in the comparable period of December 2010, before the Google updates, according to managing partner Peter Daams.

Max Kraynov, managing director at Aviasales and JetRadar, says that Aviasales’ share of search traffic has been gradually sliding down over the past 1.5 years, with the share of Google search traffic falling probably 10% or so. He says it hasn’t been “a big deal” because search engine referrals are “not the biggest egg in the basket.”

Yet for Kraynov’s other property, JetRadar, the story has been more dire. After May-June 2013, the search engine optimization (SEO) channel of JetRadar was devastated by the Google changes. “We have all but surrendered, concentrating more on growth through affiliate marketing,” he says.

Other companies saw traffic fall in a noticeable movement almost overnight. Stuart McDonald, cofounder of Asia travel planning website travelfish.org, says:

“Like many independent travel websites I know of, we saw a marked, sudden and unexplained traffic drop in 2013. There was no notification of what Google terms a “manual penalty,” so one assumes it was algorithmic.”

Read More at Tnooz

Panda. Penguin. Hummingbird. The names conjure up images of harmlessly cute animals.

But many owners of small and medium-sized travel websites worldwide hate the sound of these animal names because they’re also Google’s monikers for its updates to its search algorithm. These updates changed the search result rankings, inflicting damage on these sites’ visitor numbers.

More than a dozen owners of these independent, consumer-facing, service-oriented travel websites have told Tnooz in email and phone interviews that they have lost between 20% and 70% of their traffic during the past three years. The drops coincided with Google’s search engine updates.

In one sense, this story is “old news.” The first Panda update was in February 2011; the first Penguin was in April 2012. Hummingbird came around September of this year.

But what’s been overlooked by the media is how several travel websites have never fully recovered from the algorithm updates. Many of these companies promote hotels, vacation rentals, plane tickets, or cruises. They depend significantly on search-engine referrals for customers, so their revenue is almost proportionally linked to any changes in traffic.

The traffic tap gets cut off

For some sites, the dropoff in visitors came slowly. Travellerspoint, for example, experienced gradual decline in traffic since the second version of Panda. Today, in early December, it is sitting at about 30% of the traffic it had back in the comparable period of December 2010, before the Google updates, according to managing partner Peter Daams.

Max Kraynov, managing director at Aviasales and JetRadar, says that Aviasales’ share of search traffic has been gradually sliding down over the past 1.5 years, with the share of Google search traffic falling probably 10% or so. He says it hasn’t been “a big deal” because search engine referrals are “not the biggest egg in the basket.”

Yet for Kraynov’s other property, JetRadar, the story has been more dire. After May-June 2013, the search engine optimization (SEO) channel of JetRadar was devastated by the Google changes. “We have all but surrendered, concentrating more on growth through affiliate marketing,” he says.

Other companies saw traffic fall in a noticeable movement almost overnight. Stuart McDonald, cofounder of Asia travel planning website travelfish.org, says:

“Like many independent travel websites I know of, we saw a marked, sudden and unexplained traffic drop in 2013. There was no notification of what Google terms a “manual penalty,” so one assumes it was algorithmic.”

- See more at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/google-panda-travel-sites-struggle?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=google-panda-travel-sites-organic-search-referrals-traffic#sthash.dBvBCRaj.dpuf

Panda. Penguin. Hummingbird. The names conjure up images of harmlessly cute animals.

But many owners of small and medium-sized travel websites worldwide hate the sound of these animal names because they’re also Google’s monikers for its updates to its search algorithm. These updates changed the search result rankings, inflicting damage on these sites’ visitor numbers.

More than a dozen owners of these independent, consumer-facing, service-oriented travel websites have told Tnooz in email and phone interviews that they have lost between 20% and 70% of their traffic during the past three years. The drops coincided with Google’s search engine updates.

In one sense, this story is “old news.” The first Panda update was in February 2011; the first Penguin was in April 2012. Hummingbird came around September of this year.

But what’s been overlooked by the media is how several travel websites have never fully recovered from the algorithm updates. Many of these companies promote hotels, vacation rentals, plane tickets, or cruises. They depend significantly on search-engine referrals for customers, so their revenue is almost proportionally linked to any changes in traffic.

The traffic tap gets cut off

For some sites, the dropoff in visitors came slowly. Travellerspoint, for example, experienced gradual decline in traffic since the second version of Panda. Today, in early December, it is sitting at about 30% of the traffic it had back in the comparable period of December 2010, before the Google updates, according to managing partner Peter Daams.

Max Kraynov, managing director at Aviasales and JetRadar, says that Aviasales’ share of search traffic has been gradually sliding down over the past 1.5 years, with the share of Google search traffic falling probably 10% or so. He says it hasn’t been “a big deal” because search engine referrals are “not the biggest egg in the basket.”

Yet for Kraynov’s other property, JetRadar, the story has been more dire. After May-June 2013, the search engine optimization (SEO) channel of JetRadar was devastated by the Google changes. “We have all but surrendered, concentrating more on growth through affiliate marketing,” he says.

Other companies saw traffic fall in a noticeable movement almost overnight. Stuart McDonald, cofounder of Asia travel planning website travelfish.org, says:

“Like many independent travel websites I know of, we saw a marked, sudden and unexplained traffic drop in 2013. There was no notification of what Google terms a “manual penalty,” so one assumes it was algorithmic.”

- See more at: http://www.tnooz.com/article/google-panda-travel-sites-struggle?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=google-panda-travel-sites-organic-search-referrals-traffic#sthash.dBvBCRaj.dpuf



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