Google Update Underway: But For Payday Or Panda?

payday-pandasThere appears to be an update underway, one that will be rolling out over a “multi-week” timeframe according to Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts.

The update was announced by Matt on Twitter in response to a question about why some of the search results look spammy. Matt replied saying, “Yup we saw that. Multi-week rollout going on now, from next week all the way to the week after July 4th.”

It is unclear exactly what this is an update for. Is it in response to an update on the PayDay algorithm or maybe the softer Panda update? We asked Matt Cutts and Google to clarify but Google won’t clarify.

Google has said that Panda is a multiday update, so maybe this update is related to that. If that is true, we’d probably be at the 27th update to Panda. The last Panda update we counted was Panda 25 but Google stopped announcing them; however, we think there has been at least one Panda refresh since the last confirmed update.

Or, this update Matt is referring to may be designed to improve the situation with the PayDay loans algorithm having some oddities. Such as the example Matt responded to with a search for [car insurance] in Google UK and the Matt Cutts payday loan hack from a week ago. There are many examples of places where the payday loan algorithm did not remove spam, so this update might be related to that.

Have you noticed ranking and traffic changes from Google over the past few days? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Panda Update | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • mphnyc

    Have not seen any major changes so far this week…

    Things have been steady for the past few weeks. Last major disruption was week of May 12 to 18.

  • John Edward Doyle

    I wrote this article ( about payday loans in February. I’ve been monitoring the SERP’s since and little has changed. It appears Google did a mass cleanup about 2 weeks ago, but since the same old blog comment spam and other ill-gotten links are still dominating the SERP’s. Although now, a lot seem to be using subdomain from Tripod and Web 2.0 sites.

  • Durant Imboden

    I haven’t noticed any significant changes for our travel-information site since May 7-8.

  • Justin Douglas

    What a joke all these updates are, they’re just helping the big boys. My local searches are a mess, yelp is everywhere, unrelated authority sites etc. You look at G’s traffic in the last 3 months is down 8%, people are jumping to Bing, duckduckgo is a good privacy search alternative too. I can only hope they crumble.

  • ToiletFlusher

    Agreed, but what’s new? For the first time ever, I’ve seen a big boost from DuckDuckGo. One can only hope that they can succeed.

  • klippers

    I have actually seen a large increase in referrals from DuckDuckGo too. I hope that keeps up. I would like to see another good Google competitor.

  • Derek Abbring

    I have seen a massive increase in backlinks to several of my sites from business websites that have zero relevancy. It seems their seo’s in the online marketing, insurance and lawyer verticals are thinking it wise to link to any and all sites with high PR. I had upwards of a few hundred backlinks from business sites with zero relevancy on one site alone. I did a full week worth of audits last week and found this same approach on several websites. It seems it’s becoming a common practice to link to any & all sites with high PR. But this doesn’t seem smart or white hat though. Thoughts?

  • Derek Abbring

    BTW nothing out of the ordinary in traffic

  • Durant Imboden

    In the last month, Google provided 47.9 percent of our traffic, and DuckDuckGo supplied just under 0.085 percent. To put it another way, Google delivered nearly 564 visits for every one from DuckDuckGo.

    As much as I’d like to see Google have some real competition, I don’t think it’s going to come from DuckDuckGo.

  • april kroener

    Nothing changed in traffic or rankings…

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I haven’t seen anything work mentioning to any client in the last few days but I guess I’ll have to keep on checking just to be sure.

  • Bill Finan

    Mozcast shows some changes including a record high ‘temperature’ of 113, and intensification of recent trends against exact and partial domains, and toward results consisting more than ever of the big guys. I would suggest that maybe this isn’t Panda, Penguin or Payday, but something completely new, as the last few Pandas and Penguin 2.0 did not have these effects, and it seems surprising that something reliant on spammy queries that would make an impact on those data. So it appears it may be time to go to the zoo. Google Badger? Google Orca?

  • SignGuy

    Barry…this is the second time you’ve lifted an image from a sign company website without attribution or permission. This time, from here:

  • Alex Leigh


  • Bill Finan

    I would think you’d get a Pandenguin

  • El Ray

    ya get a huge difference in this week. getting good result from google organic traffic. its almost like dream come true.

  • SignGuy

    [image was changed for those wondering]

  • LisC

    Disclaimer: I’m a total rookie but curious to know what’s happening.

    My site went live beginning Feb, never had honeymoon period, over 90% organic traffic which started building from end April, less than 10 unique visits/day to today, over 600 unique visits/day. Panda dance all the way with traffic up and down but with a steady upward trend. Any thoughts on this? What should I be expecting in the coming months?

  • Mark Daniel Adamczyk

    I just noticed a huge slam on my “orlando pawn shop” for #1 for years and now we are not to be found. Wow!

  • Jenny Halasz

    If you got back into the SERPs after being out without doing a reconsideration request, it wasn’t a manual penalty. Manual penalties have to be manually revoked. It was probably just a Google error or perhaps your site was experiencing problems.

  • NanditaB

    Most probably, it’s a multi-week “Link Analysis Algorithm” rolling out by Google to assess value of links on web-pages, as well as to catch link spammers.

  • Marcia Sample

    Been using now a couple of days – love it so far.
    Does anyone know how much traffic they are getting?

  • Marcus

    Yes, our main keyword dropped 25 positions on June 25th. SUCKS!!!

  • Karin Peeters

    Same here. I used to be on top of second page. Now I can’t find myself in first 20 pages. I’m still in Google places and on first page for other key words. But for my main keywords I’m gone! Any one any idea of how I can find out what I did wrong? Only thing I can think of is that I have about 20 doggy directory listings. I’m emailing them to ask to be removed. Is devow links a good idea? I’m just a small local company and my website is very important for generating leads. Thanks for any suggestions :)

  • Maya John

    Have changed …..Dear April kroener

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