This week Google confirmed that they have released a new algorithm update on their payday loan algorithm, just less than a year after the original payday loan rolled out on June 11th 2013. It got its name because payday loans were one of the queries that were targeted and affected by the change, although it affects many markets and search areas beside payday loans.
The new update came as no surprise to many SEOs and webmasters, who had noticed rumours and signals that something major was about to happen over the weekend. As rumours intensified, webmasters began to check their analytics for change, wondering if an update for Panda or Penguin was in the offing. It was neither, as Google confirmed to Search Engine Watch that it was an update in the payday loans algorithm.
The payday loans algorithm targets “very spammy queries”, usually involving industries where the link building and spam tactics used are very extreme. It specifically targets high-value, highly spammed search results.
When the original payday loan algorithm launched in June last year, Google’s Head of Spam Matt Cutts reported that the algorithm impacted on roughly 0.3% of U.S search queries. However, in Turkey, where web spam is typically higher, the algorithm hit 4% of Turkish search queries.
The change in the payday loan algorithm has come just days before the launch of Panda 4.0, which started rolling out yesterday.
We’ll be discussing the launch of Panda 4.0 in our next post, so stay tuned!