It’s been a crazy year for SEO. This year’s analysis of Google winners and losers shows significantly greater fluctuations than in previous years. Which U.S. websites successfully rode the wave? And which sites took a nose dive? Also, what impact did the year’s two major Google Core Updates — June/July and November — have on Google.com rankings? Read on to find out who made our lists.
Google’s 2021 loser is Pinterest, while Instagram comes out top in 2022
If Google were to have a social network award, it would most certainly have gone to Instagram in 2021. In absolute terms, Instagram achieved an Cork Used Bicycles Shop unprecedented rise in SEO visibility in our index for Google.com. For its competitor Pinterest it was all downhill. Pinterest was one of the biggest losers in 2021. This trend is the same across all the countries we analyzed. Instagram seems to be getting a lot right, while Pinterest seems to have fallen out of favor with Google.
Date: 13/09/2020instagram.com (SEO Visibility): 5 972 471pinterest.com (SEO Visibility): 4 851 322
Google Update Rally: Many of 2020’s losers made the 2021 winners lists
Google giveth and Google taketh away. One of the negative trends seen in the past few years is clusters of websites being penalized by the updates. Yet then the algorithm is revised and previous losers are back on top. For example, we identified this trend in some of the music and podcast sites we analyzed. While iheart.com, last.fm, and rateyourmusic.com were among the biggest losers in the May 2020 Core Update, the July 2021 Core Update gave these sites a boost right through December. This meant they ended 2021 with a clear increase in SEO visibility compared to pre-2020 levels.
Loser in 2020, Winner in 2021
iheart.com (SEO Visibility)
last.fm (SEO Visibility)
rateyourmusic.com (SEO Visibility)
Google Update of the Year 2021: Core November Update
Google’s Core Update November 2021 also drew some ire from the SEO community when it launched in the strongest sales period of the year: Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Now we are seeing how this core update positively impacted the SEO visibility of many websites, much to their delight. Here’s what the visibility histories of Google U.S. domains in eCommerce and reference sites look like when Google’s algorithm is feeling really, really generous: