Friday 01 November, 2013
Watch out! Google is going wild, unleashing a new algorithm update on the unsuspecting world every other week. Okay, maybe not every other week, but the updates follow each other fairly quickly. It’s tough to keep up, but there are three of the most recent updates and how they’ll affect you.
The Penguin update made serious changes to web searches. A new update in May has been nicknamed Penguin 2.0 because it’s similar to Penguin. Like Penguin, its goal is to cut out spam sites.
In regular Google fashion, the details are vague, but copied content, sites with junk links, and sites that use black hat SEO techniques were among those targeted by the update. According to Google’s Matt Cutts, Penguin 2.0 affects about 2.3 percent of English searches, which sounds like a low percentage but is actually a pretty large number.
The Pay Day Loan Update
There are certain search queries that turn up nothing but hacked sites and internet garbage. One of these search query key phrases – payday loans – gives this update its name, since it’s one of the biggest culprits.
The pay day loan update goes after spammy queries like payday loans, a certain pharmaceutical for men that starts with a ‘V,’ and other terms, many of which are pornographic or adult-related. Matt Cutts mentioned specifically that it goes after illegal link schemes.
This update only affects about 0.3 percent of searches, but it’s worldwide and not just for English searches like Penguin 2.0.
The Partial Matching Domain Update
This update isn’t the first time Google has gone after partial matching domain names. Partial matching domain names are domain names that use keywords as a portion of their name. Many legitimate sites do this. The idea behind this and previous updates targeting partial matching domain names is not to penalize all sites that do this, but only those that stuff their names with keywords and don’t offer real content visitors can use. As long as a site uses partial matching domains but offers credible information, it’s not supposed to be affected.
Why is Google going update crazy? The goal behind all of its algorithm updates is to offer a better user experience and keep Google on top of the game in the search engine world. As long as your site offers a good user experience, original content and is free of black hat tricks, you shouldn’t be affected.
However, sometimes good sites are affected by Google updates. If yours was, it might be a good idea to investigate further and take a good look at your site to see if it’s using outdated SEO techniques or there are other problems with it that are getting it penalized.