Weekly SEO news: 17 June 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

On Twitter, Google's Matt Cutts announced the release of the third version of Google's Payday Loan algorithm. Are the rankings of your website affected by this update?

In the news: searchers resist switching engines, the impact of image extensions in AdWords is low, brand engagement is plummeting on Facebook, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google ranking algorithm update: Payday Loan 3.0

On Twitter, Google's Matt Cutts announced the release of the third version of Google's Payday Loan algorithm. The first version of that algorithm was announced about a year ago.

Pay day loan update 3.0

What is Google's Payday Loan algorithm?

This is the second Payday Loan algorithm update within four weeks. In May, Matt Cutts announced version 2.0 of Google's Payday Loan algorithm update.

According to Matt Cutts, version 2.0 of the update targeted spammy sites, whereas the new version 3.0 targets spammy queries. Unfortunately, Google does not explain what this means in detail.

The Payday Loan algorithm targets search queries such as "payday loans", "casinos", "viagra" and other keywords that are often targeted by spammers.

How is this different from Google Panda and Google Penguin?

The Payday Loan algorithm is unrelated to Google's Panda or Penguin updates. The Panda algorithm targets websites with low quality content. For example, the Panda algorithm makes sure that web pages with automatically created content don't get high rankings in Google's search results. The same applies to websites that hire authors who write articles with very shallow content.

The Penguin algorithm targets website that get artificial links. For example, websites that are linked with paid links might be penalized by Google. Google also doesn't like links from automated linking schemes.

How will this affect your website's rankings?

If your website does not compete in a spam heavy industry (drugs, gambling, etc.) then it is very likely that the rankings of your website won't be affected at all.

Google doesn't like spam. For that reason, your website will be safe if you avoid spam methods to promote your website. If you want to get high rankings that last, use white-hat SEO methods that play by the rules.

The tools in SEOprofiler only use white-hat SEO methods that help you to get high rankings on Google and other search engines. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Searchers resist switching engines
"Even as internet users fret more about online privacy, upstart search engines that promise data security are discovering it's tough to get users to abandon Google - and harder to rack up big profits without selling customer data to advertisers. [...]

Weinberg insists his company can prosper without tracking users. Most of the money in search, he says, is from selling ads linked to keywords such as 'cars' or 'shoes,' and not from data linked to individual users."

AdWordsGoogle AdWords: assessing the impact of image extensions

"When reviewing the average cost per clicks, image ads are the highest. [...]

Image extensions are a great idea in theory, but put to the test they had minimal impact. They gained so little exposure that it was tough to get a statistically significant sample size. Even when they did show, the metrics were okay, but generally did not perform as well as other click types."

Paid search is going mobile in a big way

"When it comes to mobile advertising, mobile paid search dominates. This year, U.S. mobile advertising spending will reach $17.73 billion and mobile paid search spending will hit $9.02 billion, or 50.9%, of that total, according to new research from eMarketer Inc. Further, that $9.02 billion this year represents 39.5% of total digital search spending, eMarketer says."

GoogleGoogle passes World Cup searchers to ESPN

"Google will direct U.S. Web searchers to ESPN, which is showing all the games and providing in-game highlights as fast as it can get them up. [...]

While Google has integrated other companies into its products before — Google Maps, for instance, now lets users call an Uber car – this is the first time Google has sent searchers to a third party it has a commercial partnership with. It’s both a novel and a commonsense move."

New report reveals just how drastically brand engagement is plummeting on Facebook

"The total engagement for the top 10 most-followed brands on Facebook has declined 40 percent year-over-year—even as brands have increased the amount of content they’re posting by 20.1 percent. [...]

Build an audience that secretly belongs to a social media mob at your own peril, and don’t be surprised when the brands and publishers that own their audiences are the only ones that survive."

Search engine newslets

  • Bye-bye keyword data from Yandex search.
  • Google shows World Cup real-time highlights and trends. 
  • Yahoo Search and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  • Google apologizes for wrong Ghana flag in World Cup doodle.
  • Google: even with the NBA Finals still in progress, USA searches are 10x higher for the World Cup.
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3. Recommended resources

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4. Previous articles
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