Three weeks since the introduction of the Google Penguin 2.0 update and there have been major impacts observed on several leading travel industry websites including travel agents, tour operators and airlines. The data for both click volume changes and percentage change in total link volume comes from a report shown on eConsultancy that tracks the top 25 winners and losers of click volume since the launch of the Penguin 2.0 update. The surprising issue is the number of travel industry sites that feature. Five of the winners and six of the losers come from the travel industry.
Penguin 2.0 Biggest Travel Winners
- TeletextHolidays.co.uk +68,228 +68%
- HolidayHypermarket.co.uk +26,621 +105%
- AlphaRooms.com +22,808 +1,000%
- TravelRepublic.co.uk +11,246 +176%
- Monarch.co.uk 9,192 +57%
Total travel industry winners = 138,095 clicks.
Penguin 2.0 Biggest Travel Losers
- IceLolly.com-105,712 <-75%
- SunMaster.co.uk -22,230 <-75%
- Cheapoair.co.uk -17,094 <-75%
- GlobalLateDEals.com -12,900 <-75%
- BestforTravel.co.uk -10,726 <-75%
- DirectLineHolidays.co.uk -7,385 -65%
Total travel industry losers = 176,047
The balance of lost traffic totals 37,952 clicks. This would imply that the lost search visitor traffic has been spread out amongst a wider range of winners than the small number identified here. On its own, the search visitor losses of IceLolly.com account for more than three-quarters of the gains made by the top 5 winners. Interestingly one term, “Cheap holidays”, apparently accounts for a large proportion of this loss. IceLolly.com ranked 1st for this term prior to the Penguin 2.0 update and a manual check shows it currently ranks 35 for the term.
I suspect that the biggest issue surrounding Penguin 2.0 is the devaluation of sitewide links. I have yet to carry out any analysis into the sites in the eConsultancy tables but suspect that devaluing certain classes of links is perhaps the source of much of the change.
A wider issue is the impact of the loss in site visitors. And the impact that this has on each individual travel business. Each of these travel businesses has lost between 65% and 75% of their organic search traffic. If I get time, I will return to further analyse the causes behind the changes.