U.S. social media sites fared poorly in visibility on Google's search engine in 2017, but YouTube and a few other video sites performed more favorably, which resulted in higher visibility. The top three sites — all social media — experienced the highest loss in visibility, according to data released Monday.
Reddit experienced the biggest decline in total — 1,339,420 — with a 54% change in visibility based on search engine optimization, per Searchmetrics.
Tumblr saw a total loss in SEO visibility of 994,315, with a 54% loss of SEO visibility. And Pinterest's total loss in visibility was 922,648, with a 23% loss of SEO visibility.
Facebook, the most used social site, did not appear on the lists stating an increase or decline.
Searchmetrics analysts tracked and analyzed the development of SEO visibility for all domains listed in its U.S. index in 2017. The list is ordered according to the absolute increase or decrease seen by the website, when comparing the level at the end of 2017. Adult and non-legitimate streaming sites, as well as domains that have migrated, were removed.
The data, published in a Searchmetrics blog post, is based upon an analysis of the change in search performance for each website throughout 2017.
Losers and winners may have been impacted by specific factors related to their own sites as well.
Those that lost search visibility were hit even harder in mobile searches than desktop searches.
"At the start of the year, desktop and mobile visibility were often around the same, yet as the year progressed, many domains -- even though they had mobile versions -- saw much greater losses on mobile than on desktop," explains Searchmetrics Founder Marcus Tober in the post.
For example, tv.com’s mobile visibility was 41% below its desktop visibility as the year closed, while for perezhilton.com mobile visibility was 42% lower and allmusic.com had a mobile visibility that was 43% below its desktop performance.
Not all sites experienced a decline. Tober wrote that companies focused on delivering quality content, either on differentiated and focused content or on the SEO structure of the site, saw big rewards.
YouTube had the highest gain at 1,890,062 in SEO visibility in total -- with an 8% change in gains, which meant the company already had a high visibility score. Vimeo and Daily Motion, however, came out losing.
Publishers, media and events made up 57% of the biggest winners in 2017, and 8% were shopping websites. The encyclopedias -- including dictionaries -- among the winning domains came in at 9%.
To track the winners and losers by category, Searchmetrics used 250 domains with the greatest increase and decrease in SEO visibility, rather than the top 100 winners and losers.
Of the websites that lost visibility in 2017, 44% also were in publishing, while shopping websites also comprised 12% of losers.