After relative radio silence regarding major algorithmic changes in 2014, Matt Cutts has revealed two updates, in quick succession, overnight.
In a nutshell, digital marketers who are earning coverage, providing great user experiences and digital services for their customers and focusing on creating great content should have nothing to fear.
Our advice is to undertake a full audit and review of your backlink profile and content if you haven’t already done so. This can help prevent your site from losing visibility, or being penalised, for links or content which were created by old SEO activities, any current low-quality SEO work and even negative SEO tactics.
The Panda algorithm (or, collection of algorithms) improves search results for individual search queries by assessing the content on a website as a whole. This algorithm will affect you if you have generally poor or thin content on your website and you may see drops in visibility for your main key phrases as a result.
Last year, Matt Cutts said that this aspect of Google’s algorithm would be rolled into the core set of scoring methods, with updates happening regularly. However, information given to, and published by, Search Engine Land reveals that a new version of the Panda algorithm has been launched, impacting around 7.5% of English queries this week.
Payday Loan 2.0
Google previously launched an algorithmic update specifically targeting ‘payday loan’ related (and potentially other search queries majorly impacted by ‘spam’ techniques) search engine results pages (SERPs) back in June 2013.
It is now confirmed that they released a new update to their Payday Loan Algorithm over this weekend.
The original launch of this algorithm significantly impacted only 0.2% of English search queries. This is far less than the Panda 4.0 update, so it is unlikely that you will be affected by the 2.0 update – unless the industry in which you operate has historically been a magnet for link spam techniques.
Our advice at the top of this post applies to you if you are marketing in a category that has been tempted into link building in the past. Google’s specific focus on historically ‘spammy’ niches means that replicating the techniques of others simply in order to ‘keep up’ is no longer a viable strategy.
Historically, Google has tended to launch major updates in quick succession in order to make it difficult to isolate changes and potentially manipulate them.
Hold onto your hats in the coming days and weeks, there is no doubt that there will be more news to come.
If you’d like more information, or if you’ve been affected by this week’s algorithm updates, get in touch to discuss an audit of your backlink profile, a penalty removal and moving towards a content-based, sustainable and customer focused approach to SEO and digital marketing.