2018 Organic Search Winners and Losers, Part 1June 17, 2021
Within the world of search engines and SEO (search engine optimization), there’s understandably a big emphasis on tracking trends. Google and other search engines are regularly updating and making changes that impact the way the entire industry operates, and being on top of these can often make the difference between SEO success and failure.
At SEO Werkz, our SEO team is at the top of the industry when it comes to this theme. We keep a constant eye to the key trends and indicators that can help us maximize your business’s exposure and reach. As a simple example, let’s spend this two-part blog going over some recent data from Searchmetrics on which kinds of sites were the biggest winners and losers in organic search visibility for the year 2018, plus some factors that played important roles here.
For the study being referenced here, all domains listed in Searchmetrics’ US index were included. The research begins with January 1st, 2018, and ends with December 31st, 2018. The only specific filters used here were related to any adult sites or any that included illegal or illegitimate streaming, plus any domains that migrated during the research period.
There were a couple big trends when it came to the primary winners on search visibility for the year 2018:
- Video content: Some of the single largest gains, including the overall winner (YouTube), were powered by their focus on video content. A huge number of desktop queries were rolled out in video carousel format over the summer, helping YouTube take a massive jump of 79 percent as the single largest gainer for the year.
- Health sites: Sites like verywellhealth.com, webmd.com and others were also in the top 20 on this list.
- About.com split: Several prominent domains that resulted from the split of about.com were launched in 2018 and had huge success. Verywellhealth.com was actually one of these as well.
The full list of winners for 2018 is available for download here.
It’s important to note that being on the “biggest losers” list doesn’t necessarily mean that a site has seen major losses in traffic or turnover. Rather, it refers to unpaid search results and overall visibility. With that in mind, some of the biggest losers for 2018 were sites like dictionary.com (top loser overall), Pinterest, thebalance.com, apple.com, and several media sources – the Huffington Post, LA Times, Daily Mail and others all saw big decreases.
Role of Google Updates
Like every year, Google Updates are some of the biggest factors in the changes to search visibility. In particular, three big updates made waves in 2018:
- Core algorithm update: This took place in March of 2018, a huge change of the Core that made major changes to search results. Many suspected that this change actually took place in late 2017, but additional boosts took place in March.
- E-A-T Update: Another official Google Update from August 2018 that had a big impact on “Expert-Authority-Trust” rankings, affecting several prominent keyword areas. Another update to this was released in October as well.
- Desktop video carousels: Back in June 2018, Google began presenting video carousels as part of desktop search results while also increasing video integrations in overall search.
For more on the biggest organic search winners and losers in 2018, or to learn about how these kinds of trends impact your business, contact the pros at SEO Werkz today.