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Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan 2.0

If you’re an SEO expert or marketing guru you’re quite familiar with the fuzzy animals Google throws our way periodically. Since 2011 Google has been releasing Panda and Penguin algorithm updates that have resulted in an influx of content, link, and SEO changes in general. Towards the end of May, Matt Cutts announced yet two new Google algorithmic updates that might further confuse small business owners with the ever-changing Google landscape. With the release of Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan 2.0, various companies were clearly impacted. So, what exactly did these new updates do?

Panda 4.0

Panda 4.0 is a content-focused update intended to rank websites with quality, user-friendly content higher in search engine results. This update affects about 7.5% of English search queries. With the intentions of better answering searcher’s questions, Panda 4.0 ensures quality content makes it to the top of search engine results and spammy content falls far behind. Those who provide relevant, valuable, authentic content win here. Those with little to no content will certainly be penalized in search engine results. So with that in mind, who was hit hardest by this update? The most apparent victim of this new update was eBay.

Panda 4.0’s affect on eBay

Unfortunately eBay quickly dropped out of the “Big 10” and dropped in ranking from 6th to 25th. Similarly, eBay dropped from 1 percent of their search queries to 0.28 percent. EBay lost 80 percent of their organic traffic due to their thin content. It’s difficult for visitors to find detailed content on the landing pages of eBay’s site thus making it difficult to find the exact product they’re looking for. This is exactly what Panda 4.0 aimed to combat.

Payday Loan 2.0

The Payday Loan 2.0 update was separate from Panda and Penguin algorithmic changes, affecting only about 0.2% of English search queries. This update was a continuation of the Payday Loan algorithm that surfaced last June to target spammy queries. This summer’s algorithm impacts extremely spammy queries associated with excessive web spam, primarily payday loans, insurance, accident claims, etc. Basically, Google intends to prevent low-quality sites from appearing in these types of searches.

How to respond to the changing algorithms

Companies like were positively affected by these updates as they provide useful, quality content. There are various ways to emulate their strategies and ensure your website isn’t negatively affected by these recent algorithm updates.

·         Keep your ads short; content-dense ads tend to overshadow content on your website and could in-turn adversely affect search engine rankings

·         Eliminate duplicate content entirely.

·         Create authentic, new content periodically.

·         Ask your customers which questions they have and generate content based on that. This way, you can be certain you’re providing useful content that your potential customers are looking for.

Things are always progressing and changing at Google, so it’s always good practice to keep yourself updated for SEO purposes. For what we should expect in the next few months from Google in terms of SEO…Matt Cutts answers your questions in this informative video. 

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