IndexWatch 2022 – The Losing Domains in Google US – Cập nhật kiến thức mới nhất năm 2024
2022 was a volatile year in Google’s organic search results, with Google launching many new SERP features as well as introducing and updating several significant ranking systems, such as the Product Reviews updates and the Helpful Content Update. This article analyses the losing domains of the year, with sector breakdown and deep-dives.
Beyond companies competing against one another for organic search visibility, the most prominent organic search competitor was Google itself, with enhanced shopping results, colorful Knowledge Panels, the introduction of SERP accordions like “Things to Know,” and other SERP features that significantly impact the flow of organic traffic.
Where there are SEO winners, there must also be losers. As a reminder, not all declines in organic visibility are the direct result of a failed SEO strategy; many losses can be explained by Google (and its users) deciding another type of content is more relevant. Relevancy and intent shifts are common during core updates and can wreak havoc on the visibility of many sites, despite the sites doing nothing wrong or, in some cases, making any changes at all.
Below is a list of the 200 domains that saw the greatest declines in SEO visibility throughout 2022, both in terms of absolute gains and percentage declines.
Losing Domains, Google US. Percentage and absolute losses
The data shown below is collected from mobile search rankings only. The first table shows the top 100 established (VI started at over 3.0) domain losers by absolute VI decline in Google US.
Losing domains, by absolute VI value, in Google US, 2022
The table below shows the top 100 established (VI started at over 3.0) domain losers by percentage in Google US
Losing domains, by percentage VI value, in Google US, 2022
Publisher & News Sites
By far the biggest trend among the loser sites in 2022 is that many of them are online publisher and/or news sites. In fact, over 70 sites fell into this category:
Publisher and news websites: Losing domains in Google US, 2022
|Domain||03.01.2022||02.01.2023||Percent change||Absolute change|
The gradual decline among the visibility of news and publisher sites is not new to 2022. Zooming out, one can see that this same trend has been taking place since the end of 2019, when several large publisher sites had their greatest SEO visibility peak at any point in the last 3 years.
This shift may be due to a few factors. For one, the SISTRIX Visibility Index only tracks the standard organic blue links, but it does not track Top Stories results, where many of these publishers appear. Furthermore, in addition to Google News (which is also not tracked by the Visibility Index), Google has launched various new surfaces for publishers in the past few years, including Google Discover and the Google News Showcase.
Data shows that Google puts fewer news results in the 10 blue links now than they used to in the past.
Celebrities, for example, ‘own’ more of their brand SERP than in the past. Website, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and YouTube channels become closely associated with a celebrity, and once the Top Stories box, a few reference sites have been added (Imdb, Wikipedia) there’s little space left for news articles. Here’s a good example of a famous person. The left SERP from 2017, the right hand side, 2023
6 years ago, 50% of the organic links were from news media sites. Today, none of them are.
Product Review Sites
The elephant in the room with the above list of publisher and news sites is just how many of them offer product reviews either as their primary business model or a significant portion of their site. Google launched 3 updates to its Product Reviews ranking system in 2022. The last update, which took place in September 2022, had a significant impact on many product review sites, which can be seen in the chart below.
Dictionary & Translation Sites
Another big trend in 2022 was the decline in visibility among various Dictionary sites.
Dictionary and Translatiors: Losing domains in Google US, 2022
Several of these large dictionary sites saw declines around the September 2022 core update. This has been a common outcome of core updates during the past several years, which have resulted in both big gains and big losses in visibility among many dictionary sites.
This could be due to intent shifts that occur as the result of a core update – during core updates, Google may become smarter at understanding whether or not a user is looking for a definition for a certain query. This is stated clearly in page 166 of Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines:
The below SERP comparison shows how the results have changed for the keyword “death” between the beginning and end of 2022. While dictionary results still rank in prominent positions, dictionary.com dropped out entirely.
Several jobs sites were among the losers, most notably Linkedin.com
Jobs websites: Losing domains in Google US, 2022
Linkedin saw its visibility peaking in July, but saw significant declines beginning afterward and continuing throughout the rest of 2022. The September Core Update (letter I) appears to have accelerated this decline.
Ecommerce was another category hit hard in 2022 – at least among some of the big players. It was also one of the winning categories, with Amazon, Ebay, Walmart and Etsy seeing significant gains, among many others.
But for the below sites, 2022 was a tough year:
Ecommerce websites: Losing domains in Google US, 2022
Below shows the visibility decline among ecommerce sites, some of which dropped only slightly year-over-year, but 10 visibility index points can have a big business impact.
One significant change to Google’s organic search results in 2022 was the continued rise in shopping-related search features, several of which were announced at SearchOn 2022. These enhanced shopping features could result in ecommerce sites seeing their rankings get pushed down or repurposed as part of Google’s new product listings.
Several UGC/forum sites saw big declines in 2022, mostly notably quora.com, which lost over 55 visibility points.
User generated content: Losing domains in Google US, 2022
Quora observed an interesting visibility pattern, with a big decline during the beginning of the year which bounced back during the May core update, but hasn’t returned to the position seen in the beginning of 2022.
A few financial sites saw major declines in 2022.
Financial websites: Losing domains in Google US, 2022
Investopedia, which has seen consistent SEO growth over the past few years, saw its first major decline after the September core update. Below is a zoomed-out view of what that growth and the decline in late 2022 have looked like over a five year period.
Travel, Hotels & Airlines
Another heavily affected category in 2022 were sites in the travel, hotel, and airline space. Given the post-pandemic surge of demand in the travel space, it makes sense that the organic search results also saw major volatility.
Below is a view of how the year-over-year SERP changed for the keyword “Mauritis,” where State.gov and Forbes entered into the top 10, along with some other new sites.
Travel websites: Losing domains in Google US, 2022
SEO strategies are certainly not the only factor that can cause visibility declines on Google. Not only has Google launched various new products, SERP features, and major algorithm updates, but it also continuously gets better at understanding search intent and relevancy, which can cause significant volatility in the organic search results.
We have identified the 200 domains with the greatest visibility declines in 2022 – both in percentage and in absolute terms using the SISTRIX Visibility Index, which indicates a value for how visible a domain is in Google’s search results.
By actively measuring the rankings across a representative keyword set, the SISTRIX data is free from external influences such as seasonality, the weather, vacation times and other external factors and trends.
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