We’ve regularly reported Google’s algorithm tweaks in this newsletter, and Google has them coming faster than ever lately. So if this sounds a bit like déjà vu, well… it essentially is.
Google likes to keep webmasters and website owners on their toes, ensuring that tricksters can’t find artificial ways of pumping up their search rankings and site traffic — or at least not for long.
In late May, Google released two significant algorithm updates: Payday Loan 2.0 and Panda 4.0. (“Payday loan” is so named because it targets “very spammy queries” such as “payday loans” and other phrases typically associated with spam, according to Google.)
The Payday Loan 2.0 announcement was an update of the initial Payday Loan algorithm that launched in June 2013. It targets queries such as payday loans, insurance quotes and certain pornographic queries.
Google says these queries tend to create a systemic problem in search results. The Payday Loan 2.0 rollout was reported to have been international in scope and affected less than 0.2 percent of total queries.
Panda 4.0, the significantly larger update, has been a long time coming. This update was reported to affect a 7.5 percent of queries internationally. It’s an updated version of the algorithm, and it’s one that takes a softer approach than its predecessor.
In other words, the Panda update should help out some sites that might have been unfairly affected by previous versions.
On the other hand, Panda 4.0 also negatively impacted a number of sites, particularly very large online businesses. For example, some reports indicated that eBay lost as much as 80 percent of its organic rankings.
However, the softening of Panda seems to have helped many small businesses, which was the intention, according to Google guru Matt Cutts.
Make sure you’re keeping track of how your site is performing and compare it to your performance before Panda was updated. If it hasn’t improved your rankings — or worse, if you’ve actually seen a decline — your Ring Ring Marketing representative can help.