Recently, Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that they are launching a new algorithm called Google Payday Loan 2.0 which targets “very spammy queries,” and that it is completely unrelated to Panda or Penguin. Every year, the search engine giant updates its algorithm about 500 times or more. While most changes are minor, some updates like the Payday Loan, Panda, and Penguin affect search results in a significant way.
Google Payday Loan 2.0 Targeting Spammy Queries
The original payday loan algorithm was launched globally in June 2013, and at the time it had impacted between 0.3 – 4% of queries. Payday Loan 2.0 is a continuation of Google’s efforts to clean up search queries. The latest update has affected about .2% of English queries. It will result in better quality search results for general queries, and prevent low quality sites from popping up in SERPs.
Google Panda Targeting Poor Quality Content
The Google Panda algorithm is designed to target websites with low quality content, while improving the ranking of sites that have high quality content. On 21 May 2014, Matt Cutts announced that Google is rolling out the Panda 4.0 update. The original Panda algorithm was rolled out in Feb 2011, to take action against content farms and other websites that gained top rankings even with poor quality content. Since then, Panda has been refreshed and updated several times, with the latest update last month.
Google Penguin Targeting Unnatural Link Building
The Penguin update was initially launched in April 2012 to catch websites that were spamming the search results by buying or building links via link farms that exist solely for this purpose. The Penguin update caused quite a flutter in the SEO space, with webmasters scrambling to remove bad links in an effort to regain rankings. Penguin targets websites that try to manipulate their rankings through unnatural link building.
So these are the three main Google algorithms that aim to clean up search results, but in three different ways.