We recently looked at the UK sites which made the biggest SEO gains in 2015, and now it’s time to look at the ‘losers’. 

The Sistrix visibility index looks at the sites which dropped down. Interestingly, while previous ranking falls have been blamed on Google’s algorithmic changes, there were fewer of these in 2015.

This means that the drops in visibility are more likely to be due to fallout from redesigns and domain name changes. For example, H&M managed to reduce the amount of top ten ranking keywords from 829 to 181 after a redesign.

Here I’ll show some of the losers. Not necessarily the top losers, but interesting cases…


This is the domain which lost most visibility in 2015.

This shopping engine was bought by Facebook in March 2015 and was subsequently closed down. Its rankings had been very erratic before then though.



This was the third biggest loser, but all is not as it seems.


It looks like its rankings fall off a cliff at the beginning of the year, but it actually rebranded as Citizensadvice.org.uk.

All went well though, and the visibility seems to have been transferred from old domain to new.



In contrast to the previous example, this shows how badly sites can get it wrong.

The domain was merged into ark.co.uk but, instead of redirecting pages on the Bank site to their equivalent on Ark, all links were just pointed at the Ark homepage.

A big mistake. As the chart shows, most of Bank’s search visibility was lost overnight.



Last.fm was an excellent music recommendation site but a combination of poorly executed redesigns and the rise of Spotify have seen its search visibility nosedive.

It underwent various product changes and site redesigns during 2012 which didn’t help, before a redesign in August 2015 provoked a massive user backlash.


The background to all of this is the rise of Spotify. The ability to stream a massive range of music on demand (last.fm users couldn’t choose specific songs) turned out to be more popular in the long-term, even though last.fm had some excellent features.

We can see that the decline of last.fm occurs at the same time as Spotify’s growth.

last spotify

Here, while mistakes may have been made with product and redesign, the ranking drops are the result of reduced levels of user interest over time.

For the full list of the 100 domains which lost visibility, see the Sistrix blog

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