Google has been working hard the past few months on its search algorithm. We saw lots of fluctuations in April, suspecting an algorithm change was on its way. To our surprise, we saw two algorithm updates released close together: Payday Loan Algorithm 2.0 and Panda 4.0. A couple weeks ago, though, we saw another update pass, and it was Payday Loan 3.0! Watch our Daily Brown Bag to hear our discussion on the rollout of Payday Loan Algorithm 3.0, explain what it is and what it means.

Also available on YouTube.


Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about payday loans 3.0 and whether or not it's launched or not. I'm Chad Hill and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey, good afternoon Chad, welcome to the Brown Bag. We're covering the payday loan 3.0 algorithmic update from Google and this has been confirmed according to statements from Matt Cutts late last week that Google has indeed rolled out a payday loan, another algorithm update, and this is apparently the third version of the payday loan algorithm. Version 2.0 we know and we covered this Chad, rolled out in May. So here is what Cutts is saying.

According to some statements and tweets recently, 2.0 took aim at spammy sites whereas 3.0 takes aim at spammy queries, and again we're in this payday loan algorithm update. So spammy queries are things like the words payday loans, hence the name of the algorithm update, and things with Viagra in it, and certainly other examples you can probably think of along those lines. But Chad I find this very confusing and for the life of me can't really figure out what the difference between showing spammy sites and Google's spammy query response because it seems to me that the queries and the response are at the heart of Google search. So I'm not finding this explanation entirely satisfactory.

There is a lot of chatter out there even though Matt Cutts has been on Twitter in a very short piece from SEO Roundtable and Search Engine Land have chimed in and they said they haven't seen a whole lot of talk in the community which leaves them to believe that maybe there was a partial roll-out and this was kind of the second part of an incomplete roll-out. But then there are some people claiming of course they're seeing chances in the algorithm and their ranking. So did this or didn't this roll out yet? What do we really know here?

Yeah Adam it's a good one and I think if it was April 1st we might be thinking this is even like an April Fool's Day type of deal because it's unusual to see a 2.0 to 3.0 launch within really just a month or so. But I think this is a good time to sort of sit down and say in these algorithm updates you can chase the news and you can follow it, and you can try to gain the algorithm too much, but the reality is that it's really better off. You should better spend your time working on the things we know that are really important and that's creating high quality content for your website and then looking for smart ways to get digital PR and digital publicity for your website so that you can find ways to have people take notice and mention your website across the web. Those are the things that we know time and time again really matters.

So in this year is there's not a whole lot of news because for the most part most small businesses aren't doing the types of things that payday loans algorithm updates were focused on, but stay true to what you're already working on, what we've talked about before, focus on the content and the audience.

Yeah, it's always good advice Chad and we've been talking a lot about the Webmaster guidelines. We've covered that in a number of our Brown Bags here as well as in some extended webinars. We've pulled people together from the community to try to get their opinion on how to interpret those guidelines. And it speaks right to what you're talking about Chad which is the guidelines state, don't do things with an intention to manipulate the search engines. That's prohibited by Google so you need to be doing things for true PR value as well as end audience value which I think the list of things you just covered Chad is what that's all about and that will keep you clean as far as payday loan updates or any other updates.

So sound advice on what may or may not be news on the payday loan 3.0 algorithm update. We would certainly appreciate your thoughts or if you've seen any big changes in your rankings, chime in and leave us a comment. And as always we encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel, so we'll see you back her in the video tomorrow.

Photo credit: Seth Anderson/Flickr