Google Targets "Spammy" Websites with Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0
Posted on June 19, 2014
Last week, Google unveiled a new Spam Algorithm, nicknamed the Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0. This comes just a couple of weeks after the release of version 2.0 of the Payday Loan Algorithm. Updates to the spam algorithm target spammy websites that try to achieve high SERPs at the expense of legitimate websites. As spammy sites are ranked lower, small and medium businesses can experience organic increases in their SERPs. This can increase brand awareness and return on investment.
Google takes a multi-pronged approach to spam, both screening searches via the spam algorithm and penalizing spammy domains through the Penguin tool. The Penguin algorithm targets websites that attempt to buy relevance through spammy links by lowering website rankings. These strategies work together to improve the search experience for search engine users and website owners alike.
What we know about Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0
While Google doesn't provide too much detail about how their spam algorithm works, they have released some information about the latest updates. This new update targets spammy search queries. In comparison, Payday Loan Algorithm 2.0 focused more on spam websites than on spam queries.
How exactly the Payday Loan Algorithm determines that content is spammy, not legitimate, is unclear. Google is tight-lipped on the inner workings of any of its search algorithms. Google does acknowledge taking explicit action on certain types of spam, such as scraped content, automatically generated text, hacked websites, and unnatural or deceptive links to or from a webpage. By targeting spammy content, Google helps the user find relevant information without encountering spam.
Impact of Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0
Less than 0.2 percent of English language searchers won't notice much of an impact with version 3.0 of the Payday Loan Algorithm. Searchers in other countries, which experience higher levels of web spam, will see a bigger change. For example, Turkey has a much higher rate of web spam and 4 percent of searches are projected to feel an impact.
Practitioners of black hat SEO, who use search tactics that violate Google's Terms of Service, will bear the brunt of this algorithm. Legitimate businesses who do not understand SEO, or who mistakenly use discouraged tactics (such as repeating the same work over and over) may be penalized under Penguin and Payday Loan.
Website owners that are penalized for spam, either through Penguin or through the Payday Loan Algorithm, can clean up the website and apply for reconsideration. Google's interest is in providing relevant search results, not in blacklisting accidental spammers.
With two new updates to the spam algorithm, it may take some time for website owners and users to realize the impact that the new spam algorithm will have. If your website uses legitimate or white hat SEO tactics, and you do not utilize spammy words in your website, blog, or social media updates, you may see either no impact or a positive impact as competitors are penalized. Certain industries that have a higher concentration of spam, such as online gaming, may see a bigger impact from these new updates.
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