A recent Google algorithm update announced by the company’s head of Webspam is deemed to affect businesses significantly. While SEO experts consider such updates as common occurrences, small business owners may find even the smallest alterations to be daunting to understand.

Matt Cutts recently announced the Payday Loan 2.0 update that intends to take action towards websites that consist of spam keywords such as “payday loans” and other spam such as adult themed or pornographic keywords. Fortunately for your business, the odds are that this update will not affect your considering it has only impacted 0.2% of the English queries.

What you need to know about this Update

This algorithm intends to specifically target extremely spammed queries and has nothing to do with the Penguin or Panda algorithms. A Spokesperson at Google says that, “Over the weekend we began rolling out a new algorithmic update. The update was neither Panda nor Penguin — it was the next generation of an algorithm that originally rolled out last summer for very spammy queries”.

The original Payday Loan Algorithm was introduced on June 11 2013. Then, it was suggested that this algorithm affected about 0.3% of all U.S. queries. However, Matt Cutts also pointed out that the impact went up to as much as 4% for Turkish queries where Web spam has traditionally rated higher.

Other Google Updates Till date

Updates in 2014

  1. Earlier last month, Google confirmed a significant Panda update in the form of Panda 4.0. This included a data fresh as well as an algorithm update.
  2. On March 24, 2014 there was spike in algorithm flux trackers and webmaster chatter. It has been speculated that a new, softer update had been made around this time. While many websites reported changes in their rankings, Google never confirmed any update at this point.
  3. Google refreshed their page layout algorithm on February 6, 2014. Also known as “top heavy” this was originally launched in January 2012. This algorithm aims to penalize sites that offer too many ads above the fold.

Updates in 2013

  1. On December 19, 2013 Matt Cutts’ prediction with regards to Authorship Shake-ups came into existence. Authorship mark-up disappeared from as many as 15% of the queries over one month.
  2. On December 17, 2013 all global flux trackers suggested historically high activity. While Google did not attest to any update there were significant rises registered in some Partial Match Domains.
  3. Similarly, another unconfirmed update by Google came in the form of multiple trackers picking up unusual activity. On November 14, 2013 this event coincided with a report of rampant DNS errors in the Google Webmaster Tools.
  4. On October 4, 2013 Panda 2.1 was launched after a 4.5 month gap. This was essentially a data update with few major changes in the algorithm. The overall impact wasn’t that high while some webmasters claimed to have been hit hard.
  5. While it was officially announced on September 26th, 2013, there are suggestions that the Hummingbird update was rolled out a month earlier on August 20, 2013. This update has been often compared to Caffeine and is deemed to be a critical algorithm update that powered changes with regards to semantic search as well as the Knowledge Graph over the next few months.
  6. On August 6, 2013 Google added a new category in news results. Known as “in-depth articles”, this section consisted of more detailed long-form content.

With a variety of updates such as the Knowledge Graph Expansion, Panda Recovery, Panda Dance, Phantom, Venice and updates that go back as early as the turn of the millennium, it has been the consistent goal of this search engine giant to offer the best possible targeted results to users. By focusing on quality rankings, Google has been able to sustain as the search engine with the higher market share on the World Wide Web.