Several weeks ago I reported that there was an update to Google’s Panda algorithm (4.0), along with an update to the Payday Loan algorithm (2.0). On Thursday, June 12, Matt Cutts reported that another update to the Payday Loan algorithm was rolling out, version 3.0. This update intends to target very spammy inqueries, and black hat SEO tactics. The 2.0 version targets spammy sites, and the 3.0 version is intended to target spammy queries. These include, but are not limited to: “payday loans”, “Viagra”, “casinos”, and other variations of these terms. In the wake of this, Matt Cutts confirmed update, SEOs are left scratching their heads. Websites that are not considered to be in the spammy category are seeing shifts in their rankings and traffic. For example, consumer electronics was one category that reported great concern. Little was reported from the Blackhat forums. Some SEOs are speculating that the update was actually a smaller update to the 4.0 Panda algorithm, rather than an update to Payday Loan. Only time will tell what we are actually dealing with here.
If you are concerned about being hit by one of these updates here are a few things to always remember:
Watch Your Content
Maintain unique and valuable content on your website. Ditch the low quality, auto-generated, duplicate, or redundant copy.
Concentrate on Trust
Google ranks websites that exemplify authority, that have a strong voice and those that are engaging to the visitor. They also look for authority within the websites that link back to you. Links to low quality non-trusted websites just don’t work.
Mind Your Ratio
Make sure your efforts are spread out. What I mean by this is to make sure that you are maintaining all aspects of your link building, outreach, etc. Building links to only one, or two websites, or maintaining your Facebook profile, but not your Google+, isn’t going to help build trust to your website.
While thoughtful link building, maintaining a strong social presence, and creating interesting, unique content aren’t the only factors in avoiding a penalty, the sure are a great start. Google’s efforts to maintain a valuable search engine that delivers quality content to their visitors will surely not be ceasing anytime soon. Now is the time to really take a look at what is going on behind the scenes of your website and to start making any changes that will help you to avoid being hit by one of their algorithm updates. Usually, the adjustments are minor, and the result is invaluable.
Jori Stevian is an Account Manager at SEOhaus
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