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Google Kneecaps Loads Of Very Big Websites After SEO Change

Search visibility for Game Informer, Kotaku and Dexerto is down by over 60%

As we have discussed here previously, Google's Search Engine Optimisation rules--or SEO--are the way the company decides what results you get when you search for something. Whenever Google changes them, whole sectors of the internet can be affected, and a recent change has hit...well, loads of the biggest and most popular websites on the internet, from video games to tech to news.

A tweet earlier today from SEO expert Lily Ray--using data from SEO analysts Sistrix--shows that changes Google made between September 2023 and April 2024 have been devastating to sites like NME, Techcrunch, Dexerto, Popsci, Collider, Android Police, GQ, NY Mag and even the Urban Dictionary:

Note that these huge drops--from 65-90% across the board--aren't to the site's overall traffic, but their visibility in Google search results. Still, considering that most of the biggest sites on the internet are now almost entirely reliant on bringing in traffic through Google search results, this seems bad!

A second tweet lists even more declines. Gamerant is down 67.3%. Game Informer 62.9%. Kotaku, a site recently retooled so that even its front page is built around trending SEO topics, is down 64%.

As tech expert Ed Zitron says, it appears the changes "target websites that make money using affiliate marketing links...and major publishers that have turned a lot of their content into link-driven stuff". Which, fine, the line from Google whenever these tweaks are made is that they're trying to improve the search experience for the average users, but those sites are only built this way because of Google's search engine. Google is out here kneecapping a whole industry--so many of these affected publications are enthusiast, entertainment and/or news sites!--to fix a problem that Google helped create in the first place!

This fucking sucks. There are a lot of good people working at a lot of good websites on those lists, and many of their jobs are being threatened not just by short-sighted corporate ownership, but now also by a company that clearly has no idea what it's doing when it comes to organising search results beyond "making sure everyone sees the ads".

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