According to Searchmetrics, two weeks ago, SEO Visibility of Ask.com was 441,110. One week later after Google Panda 4.0 update, it lost its 56% visibility, has fallen to 195,486. Misery didn’t stop there for Ask. This week their visibility plummeted another 44%, bringing it to a low of 110,054.
In total, Ask has lost whopping 75% visibility. Wow!
So what did go wrong?
Easy answer is: high volume of User Generated Content (UGC) with little value. This is precisely what has caused the website’s downfall. And that is the Panda affect! Panda updates penalise what Google sees as “spammy content” on a website in order to exploit ranking, while offering little or no visitor experience.
You probably now want to see examples of “bad work” Ask.com has done to annoy Google.
If you look at the middle column, you will notice that most of the affected urls belongs to Ask’s Question & Answer section.
For an example, Ask.com was ranking for “ymail” keyword, and target page was http://uk.ask.com/question/what-is-ymail-com. They totally lost the rank for the keyword.
Let’s analyse this
Note that the page is listed under “Health” category. How on earth “ymail” is related to “Health”?!
There is a small text about “What is Ymail.com?” at the top of the page. But rest of the page accommodates countless links. And all of them internally connect different pages, same content spread over hundreds of pages.
Shockingly Ask.com also placed unrelated and high CPC keyword rich links; such as insurance, workplace policy, tumor etc. Clearly they are not only pushing their pages, but also generating page impressions and clicks to generate ads revenue. Clearly that violates Google T&C.
It takes no time to understand how Ask.com totally messed up with their content and took no authority to clean up categories, links and content.
Looks like now it’s payback time for Ask, and a good opportunity for others like it to mend their ways!