On May 20 2014, internet search engine Google confirmed it had launched version 2.0 of its Payday Loan Algorithm. A Google spokesperson said: “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.”
Panda is a separate algorithm developed by Google, which aims to exclude sites with low quality content from search engine results. Google announced the release of version 4.0 of Panda on the same day. Penguin aims to reduce the impact of attempts to artificially inflate a search engine ranking.
The Payday Loan Algorithm was originally launched in June 2013, and its impact varied according to how frequent web spam was in the appropriate country. It was estimated that the launch of the original version affected around 0.3% of searches in the United States, but as many as 4% of searches in Turkey. The latest update is estimated to have a noticeable effect on just 0.2% of queries made in the English language.
The name does not mean that only searches for payday loans – short-term loans at high rates of interest – are affected. The title was coined because searches for payday loans are regarded as heavily spammed queries, as are searches relating to pornography and other adult themes. Many payday loan websites contain very little content and are little more than links to loan application sites.
Mike Alleyne, Operations Manager at Manchester-based search engine optimisation (SEO) services provider Jungle Associates Ltd, commented: ” Again Matt Cutts (Google Head of Search Spam) issues a reminder to us all that the company intends further improving the quality of its search results by focusing on quality content and good editorial. We at Jungle welcome this ongoing clean-up of undesirable practices applied by some unscrupulous companies as part of their online marketing”