It’s official. After a period of relative silence, Matt Cutts from Google has finally announced two important algorithm updates:
This is an update to the Panda portion of Google’s algorithm, targeting low standard, irrelevant content. The update has been rolled out after various minor refreshes in the Panda algorithm on a monthly basis, but this seems to be a major one. This is because; in this update Google has made alterations to how Panda identifies websites, and has rolled out an altogether fresh version of the algorithm. This is quite an interesting development as Google had earlier said that they would no more be announcing changes to their Penguin and Panda algorithm pieces. Panda, however, was first launched in 2011, and till then has rolled out over 25 small updates.
Payday Loans 2.0
The ‘Payday’ update has been rolled out to target websites in typically spam sectors (for instance, payday loans). Google had targeted some very spam verticals last year as well with Payday Loan 1.0. And this is the second time Google has particularly targeted these sectors. The update shows that Google is not only concerned about the quality of all of its results, but it has also no qualms about making updates aiming particular verticals.
The Updates Impact
After Google released the two major updates, they certainly caused some waves in the search results. However, the impact of Payday Loans 2.0 is not seen much as according to Matt Cutts, the proportion of searches in the US affected by the update was just roughly 0.3%. So let us specifically focus on the ‘Panda Impact’ here.
While after many small monthly refreshes, Panda 4.0 update seems to be a big one, yet it is a bit softer and moderate as compared to previous updates, and is apparently to serve as a basis for forthcoming adjustments to the algorithm.
However, the impact of the update can be seen in terms of both, “winners” who have climbed up the rankings as well as “losers” who have dropped down tremendously — and eBay has apparently emerged as one of the biggest losers. According to the data available, eBay has lost a huge amount of traffic from Google. And another big loser in the list after eBay is Ask.com. The search engine has lost a huge amount of traffic in their Questions section. Besides these, the list of many other losers include, retailmenot.com, biography.com, starpulse.com, history.com, examiner.com, yellowpages.com, yourtango.com, webopedia.com, xmarks.com, and so on.
With that said, given the impact on the various distinguished websites, it is recommended for all business to review their natural search visits diligently over the next days for unexpected falloffs.