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algorithm changes

Case Studies: Sites that Flourished and Floundered Post Algorithm Changes

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a fascinating yet unpredictable realm. When you think you've mastered the art of ranking, search engines, primarily Google, roll out algorithm changes. These changes can either make or break a website's performance in search results.

Let's journey through notable case studies depicting wins and losses post-algorithm changes with seobase.

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Understanding Algorithm Changes

Before delving into the specifics, it's essential to grasp why search engines frequently update their algorithms.

The Goal of Search Engines

The primary aim is to deliver users the most relevant and high-quality content. As the internet evolves, algorithms must adapt to ensure this quality and relevance remain intact.

Combatting Spam and Low-Quality Content

Updates often target sites employing black-hat SEO techniques or producing sub-par content. This ensures that users receive genuine, helpful results for their queries.

Now, let's venture into the world of real-world cases.

Case Study 1: Winners – Medium


Medium, the well-known publishing platform, grew significantly after Google's "Broad Core Algorithm Update" in August 2018.

The Success Factors

  1. High-Quality Content: Medium's emphasis on quality, user-generated content resonated well with Google's update. The platform strictly moderates articles, ensuring the content is genuine and of high caliber.
  2. User Engagement: Medium's articles encourage longer reading times, signaling to search engines that users find the content valuable.
  3. Clean, User-Friendly Interface: The platform's minimalistic design and absence of disruptive ads provide users with a smooth browsing experience.

The Takeaway

Medium's success post-update underscores the importance of high-quality content and user-centric design.

Case Study 2: Losers – Ask.com


In contrast, Ask.com, once a leading search engine and Q&A platform, suffered after Google's "Panda" update in 2011.

The Decline Factors

  1. Thin Content: A substantial portion of Ask's content consisted of user-generated questions and answers, many lacking depth and value.
  2. Duplication Issues: Many questions and answers were repetitive, leading to a large amount of duplicated content on the platform.
  3. User Experience Concerns: The platform was riddled with ads, some of which were misleading, hampering the user experience.

The Takeaway

Ensuring unique, in-depth content and optimizing user experience is paramount to weathering algorithm changes.

Case Study 3: Winners and Losers – News Websites

The Google "June 2019 Core Update" shook the news industry. While some news websites flourished, others felt the pinch.

Success Story – The New York Times

The New York Times

The New York Times witnessed an uptick in organic traffic. Factors contributing to this included:

  1. Reputability: A long-standing history of journalistic integrity worked in its favor.
  2. In-depth Reporting: Detailed, well-researched articles ensured users spent more time on the site.
  3. Optimized User Experience: The site's layout, while ad-supported, didn’t compromise the reading experience.

Downfall – Daily Mail


The Daily Mail reported a significant drop in visibility. Possible reasons include:

  1. Clickbait Titles: Sensationalist headlines might have driven initial clicks but not genuine engagement.
  2. Heavy Ad Placements: The website's abundant ads slowed loading times and disrupted reading.
  3. Content Quality: Several articles were short and lacked substantial depth.

The Takeaway

For news websites, credibility, content quality, and user experience are crucial factors in SEO performance.

Lessons Learned

  1. Focus on Quality: Whether it's content, user experience, or site design, quality should be the cornerstone.
  2. Stay Updated: SEO is dynamic. Always stay informed about algorithm changes to adjust strategies promptly.
  3. Diversify Traffic Sources: While search engine traffic is valuable, diversifying traffic sources ensures stability during turbulent times.


In the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing, staying one step ahead can mean the difference between thriving in the digital ecosystem and getting lost in its vastness. While understanding algorithm changes and their real-world implications is pivotal, proactive monitoring and timely actions ensure you remain at the top of your game.

seobase's Site Profiler Tool is your trusted ally in this journey. Not only can you audit your website's current standing, but you'll also stay updated with the latest changes and how they impact your site. It's not just about adapting; it's about preempting and leading.

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