Payday Loan Update was one of the major algorithm updates back in 2013. This rollout was essential and affected around 0.3 percent of questions across the U.S.
At that time, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam crew, was assigned to stating that the result was as high as 4 percent for Turkish questions. The thought behind this is because those kinds of queries have more spam linked with them.
This was one of Google’s more critical updates, which hit spammy questions mostly linked with shadowy activities like super high-interest mortgages and payday loans, porn, and other spammed queries.
Cutts said that casinos, debt union, and payday loans sites would be hit. Other massively-spammed niches such as pharmaceuticals and other commercial areas such as leases and insurance were also targeted.
When he pre-announced this update in a May 2013 webmaster video, he stated that “some queries that tend to be spammy in nature, like payday loans or some pornographic related queries, were somewhat less likely to be a target for Google’s spam team.” He further went on, explaining that “Google is more likely to look at this area in the near future.”
Two things were struck by Google Payday update: Spammy queries along with spammy websites.
More pointedly, Cutts said that Payday Loan 2.0 targeted spammy websites and 3.0 directed its targeting on shady queries.
The Google Payday Update was rolled out over a 1-2 month time. The first payday loan update happened in June of 2013. Payday loan update 2.0 happened on May 16, 2014, with Payday 3.0 following soon after that in June 2014.
Payday Loan update 3.0 also incorporated better protection against negative SEO attacks.
Counterfeit websites were also added in the update. However, Cutts spoke about this being a side effect and not the fundamental intent behind executing the upgrade.
How Has SEO Changed Since the Payday Loan Update?
More SEO experts than ever started placing more stress on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and more danger was linked with gray/black hat SEO methods.
The moral of the story?
Don’t infringe Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Don’t be destructive and don’t be marauding. Always apply holistic, white hat centered strategies for content, user experience, and link gain.
Before this Google algorithm update, SEO was mainly centered on substantial amounts of manipulation. While this manipulation still happens today, and there are some ways available to fly under the radar, it’s more likely than ever to get detected if you are not careful.
Best idea? Don’t apply these tactics on your website in the first place, and ensure that the method you are considering really is not violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Look before you leap, and always double-check your sources before executing SEO techniques that can contrarily be detrimental to your overall SEO attempts.