The popular UK price comparison website Ciao.co.uk has been deeply affected by Google's recent changes to it's search system. According to BBC News, Ciao's parent Company, Microsoft, claims that Google is involved in rigging searches following the recent Panda update which was designed to "reduce rankings for low-quality sites".
"It is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that's exactly what this change does", "our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible" said Google's blog.
Google frequently applies updates to its search engine to eliminate sites that copy material from others in order to get more hits. Keyword searches that may have put a website on Google's first page may now be ranked further down. This is especially problematic with sites such as Ciao.co.uk and other price comparison and shopping websites that quote comments and reviews from elsewhere on the internet.
Ciao.co.uk has suffered from a 94% drop in its searches which experts explain is unusually high for a legitimate website. This prompted Microsoft to suspect that Google was rigging search results which resulted in the significant percentage drop. Scott Huffman, head of search evaluation for Google, denied the accusation saying it was “almost absurd" to suggest rigging, and that the update had received positive feedback from Google users.