Publisher business models rely heavily on ranking well in Google, but when the search giant initiates one of its regular algorithm updates there are always victims.
In the aftermath of Panda 4.0, voucher publisher RetailMeNot was one such company. It discovered a noticeable slide down Google’s search engine results pages compared to a previous positioning.
Such was the impact of Panda that RetailMeNot’ became 33% less visible after Google’s change, according to a report from Searchmetrics. The news has been unfavourable in shareholders’ eyes, resulting in a record 19% single-day drop in stock value.
RetailMeNot operates a number of different international brands outside of the US, such as VoucherCodes.co.uk in the UK, Deals.com in Germany and Ma-Reduc.com in France, that could also be affected.
To allay any potential fears RetailMeNot released a statement explaining that while evidence of new Google updates existed, there might still be some adjustments to come.
“Over RetailMeNot's history, search engines have periodically implemented algorithm changes that have caused traffic to fluctuate,” the statement read, stating “It is too early to judge any potential impact of the latest Google algorithm change.”
RetailMeNot went on to say that it was not completely reliant on Google search traffic and had gone through some effort to avoid the pitfalls that such a strategy might bring to its business.
“RetailMeNot has made considerable strides to diversify its traffic sources. In the first quarter 2014, approximately 35% of RetailMeNot's traffic came from sources other than search engines,” the statement added.
“RetailMeNot has its highest brand awareness metrics in the company's history, and millions of consumers are coming to RetailMeNot directly through its mobile applications.”