Google's Matt Cutts Said Pay Day Loan Algorithm Rolled Out But Did It?

Jun 16, 2014 • 8:40 am | comments (50) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google Pay Day Loan AlgorithmAs I reported from the airport Thursday night at Search Engine Land, Google's Matt Cutts said the Payday Loan Algorithm was rolling out but truth is, I haven't seen signs of it.

In fact, I've asked many folks in the black hat and spammy categories about this and they've seen nothing. There is only one site I see reporting any changes and even there I am not convinced.

As you know, the Google Payday Loan 3.0 algorithm was released, targeting spammy queries over spammy sites - whatever that means. But even though it began rolling out Thursday night, as Matt Cutts said on Twitter - I do not see reports from within the community about it.

What I do see are sites not in the spammy category reporting major changes in their rankings. The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread has folks complaining of major shifts starting Thursday night/Friday - but they are not in the spammy categories.

Here are some complaints:

I'm not in a spammy category (consumer electronics) and my site was pushed down for no apparent reason with this update. Seems Google messed something up.

I'm not in a spammy category. I've been decimated sad We can't pay our bills now.

Meanwhile the site that never gets updated, that rips off other content got a nice boost. Way to go.

Some benefited, as you would imagine:

We don't know what Google classifies as "spammy". But I'd say consumer electronics queries might indeed fall into that category. Take a look how many (legit and automated) sites are out there.

I had a nice boost on June 12th. Consumer electronics too, with high quality indepth (often 6000+ words) articles.

A senior member I think has it right, saying this was a slight modification to the Panda 4 algorithm:

I've noticed a slight drop in traffic since Thursday.

I've compared my (low level) bing and yahoo traffic to google and as best I can tell it seems just related to google.

I benefited from the recent Panda 4.0. A couple of other people posting here have have mentioned slight drops in traffic and a positive Panda 4 effect.

I'd bet that Google has tweaked the Panda 4 algo.

In regard to the PayDay algo, I don't think that would much apply to my content.

Scanning the Black Hat World forums, there is very little chatter there. Most of the chatter is asking, did you see anything? Where most people are saying, "I saw some minor fluctuations for a few of my sites but really nothing major" and the like.

I asked Matt Cutts on Twitter if there really was a PayDay Loan 3.0 and didn't get a response:

I suspect what most of you are seeing is a small update to Panda 4.0 and not Pay Day Loan specific. But I am not Google and I do not have inside information.

Forum discussion at Twitter, Cre8asite Forums, WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World .

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06/16/2014 12:55 pm

Hi Barry it's Dale Harries aka SudoRank :) This update has been wierd, I suspect it's scope is pretty narrow and the results I posted about on my blog you could argue have been coming for a while. The payday loan niche has been slowly gentrified over the past couple of months but BH SEO's have always managed to find a way. IMHO it feels like you have to be a brand with national reach to get listed on payday loans now, especially after watching the rise of one listing which didn't build any links. I do agree with you about the scope though, this update was a very small one!


06/16/2014 12:59 pm

the real fact is that even matt cutts doesn't know what is rolling out and what is not. His way of updating absurd news on twitter is something which is making me go crazy for sometime now. It's like if you ask him , is something updating ? His foremost reply is "No there is not any update" , the very next time there is any chatter about any changes he plots it out how to address it on twitter .

Michael Lerner

06/16/2014 01:04 pm

We saw a significant recover when Panda rolled out at end of May - and saw some of our money terms drop heavily last week. We are not in a spammy niche (promotional products). Agree with whoever said it may have been a Panda correction, burp or hiccup.

Barry Schwartz

06/16/2014 01:05 pm

Well, also, was this taken prior to 2.0 or after 2.0?


06/16/2014 01:31 pm

After, I did my searches about 9am on the 14th June (GMT)


06/16/2014 02:07 pm

I'm one of the people who saw a nice boost in rankings on june 12th/13th. Previous Panda updates really did nothing for me. However this latest "tweak" as you call it, did wonders. I gained traffic compared to the last couple of weeks and it seems that those new visitors are finally finding what they are looking for: Bounce rates dropped by 30 percent. So I hope that these changes stick. Not only is my traffic higher, but the quality of the referred google traffic seems to be much better.

Michael Martinez

06/16/2014 02:30 pm

Is there an official list for "spammy category"? For what it's worth, some of the more popular gambling queries were hit pretty hard.

Spammy Who

06/16/2014 03:14 pm

All my "How To" tutorials (not spam) took a hit, but nothing else...


06/16/2014 03:27 pm

Well, it certainly took a dig at the loan niche.....all loan sites are affected...some good, some bad


06/16/2014 04:11 pm

"As I reported from the airport Thursday". Looks like you are willing to say that you were in airport. is it self marketing?

Barry Schwartz

06/16/2014 04:19 pm

Self marketing? Just showing you how devoted I am to bringing you guys the latest search stuff. Want to send me kosher cookies? ;-)

Yo Mamma

06/16/2014 04:37 pm

Hmmmm, let me think, can you not find this answer on your blog?

Love Peoples

06/16/2014 05:22 pm

6/6/14 is again bad date for me

Michael Martinez

06/16/2014 05:53 pm

You would know the answer to your question if you read the blog.


06/16/2014 06:01 pm

I experienced something similar with one of my sites.

Brandon Seymour

06/16/2014 06:02 pm

I experienced something very similar with one of my sites.


06/16/2014 06:49 pm

thank you, google, for killing google search engine!


06/16/2014 10:49 pm

one of my clients saw a nice lift with the 1st part of the algo but not a blip last week or so far this week. My guess is that it's rolling out later than Matt said and we will see it soon. Remember that Panda 4.0 and the first part of this Payday update weren't supposed to roll out together but did as Google had some issues with one of the two, delaying its launch. I suspect something similar here.

Kim Nguyen

06/16/2014 11:50 pm

calm down people google is showing old links until it's done with the updates. so wherever you went before you went up or down - it where you are now until the update is done.

Donzay Stone

06/17/2014 02:48 am

Google has made yet another update to its search algorithm, Panda. The new update called the Panda 4.0 has affected around 7.5% of queries in English. The Payday Loan 2.0 made was targeted at spam queries, and Google looks to bring more changes. If you are active in your online marketing efforts, then great! But if you’re not, then Google is not your buddy anymore!


06/17/2014 03:48 am

Quit trying to sell us your airport! I get so !@#$ing sick of you peddling your airport in every post! :-P


06/17/2014 03:59 am

Two sites got tanked early this morning of mine , tough days ahead i can confirm!

loanshark (wanna-be)

06/17/2014 07:16 am

since Panda 4.0 launch, leading up to this morning I saw a big boost in rankings and organic traffic (by 150%).. this morning that same site got tanked.. The funny thing is, it's not spammy or short content.. it's a 1yr old domain.. I looked at the serps this morning for loan queries, in my opinion -> Domain Age plays a very very huge part in this algo.


06/17/2014 08:49 am

yes my traffic has returned to PRE PANDA traffic stats.. 900 a day now down from 1500 over the past couple of days wtf is this BS im bored of you google.


06/17/2014 08:52 am

To clarify.. After panda my traffic went up from 900 to 1500 Over the last couple of days my traffic has gone back to 900 ish


06/17/2014 08:53 am

I can bet something has changed early this morning and it is significant , there will be chatters this week from now. Barry please take some information on this!


06/17/2014 09:09 am

no it changed Saturday night


06/17/2014 09:34 am

Yup same, it moved up with Panda 4.0 and has not dropped back down to where it was pre panda. So crap


06/17/2014 10:14 am

Since Panda 4.0, two of my article/news sites from totally different niches are badly affected. Content pre-2013 is no longer accessed... Is like a weight on your leg Panda wise. Google is getting freshness mad! :( Another problem is that in the last two years to get a link is almost impossible and nofollow links is standard practice!

Yo Mamma

06/17/2014 11:30 am

Yeah well they also killing online purchasing too, promoting their initial investor of $250k, AMAZON, over all others. I spoke to a BESTBUY area manager - Told him to sue G$$GLE

Yo Mamma

06/17/2014 11:33 am

If you were hit with an 'algo' penalty, any new links added push you further down. This is by design from G$$gle to make you mad. If you were NOT hit with an 'algo' penalty, any new links added (bought or added by yourself) push you further UP. This is by design from G$$gle to make you mad.


06/17/2014 11:39 am

I work in the casino space and saw fairly significant changes from June 12 - 13th. Thankfully for the better in my case.


06/17/2014 02:45 pm

We saw nice increases after the initial 4.0 rollout but tanked last Thursday. Not a spammy site at all. What gives?

Yo Mamma

06/17/2014 03:12 pm

You must be relying on G$$gle. What gives? G$$gle wants your money... What does G$$gle Mean "G$$gle used to be a cool search engine. Things just haven’t been the same since they went public. Search results are not what they used to be. Instead of listing sites with relevant content, you get sites that link to sites with the relevent content. Go figure that out. G$$gle sold out. Not good."


06/17/2014 05:59 pm

I also had a nice pickup in SERPS and traffic after 4.0, but in the early hours of yesterday morning one entire site tanked big time. It was a 'how to' kind of site - not related to payday loans at all. Not spammy. Lots of well researched content. Not a huge site, only 50 pages or so but still generated a neat G$$gle income which has now completely disappeared. I think more big hits are coming and it's going to whack those who least expect it. A search of my most profitable keywords today has revealed a lot of spammy sites taking the top spots. Let's hope this settles down and everything returns to normal soon.


06/17/2014 06:25 pm

I do not think it's all good bro , spammers will keep ruling it until n unless google is about links as a core part of the algorithm , i do not understand why google doesn't integrate in it's main algorithm not to pick up spammy sites rather than making co-lateral damages to innocent websites during patches (they call it algorithm update) . It certainly proves good is testing spam results on a certain set of results while they are proving to be completely blind on the bunch of other spam sites that popups up thereafter. Final conclusion for me is that nothing can compete with the assessment that a human brain can make of what is good and bad , my middle finger to the algorithm that thinks it can differentiate between something good/interesting/engaging and that something bad. Wrapping up i can define a google algorithm as an algorithm that counts backlinks in a definite period of time not exceeding certain limits and are sourced from some nice well reputed sites., that defines the entire google. My three sites has been tanked down this early morning and what's more a spam site has taken up my position , what's disgusting is that the serp is owned by the same owner of a bunch of spam sites!. Ridiculous!

Simon Nyström

06/17/2014 09:38 pm

[Deleted as I am not sure I can blame Google for this, found some on page errors.]

Richie Nys

06/17/2014 10:56 pm

Gawker is using sites and to create hundreds of backlinks to articles posted on Gawker. There are hundreds of these kinja subdomains that are acting as aggregators for Gawker's content. · Low-quality directory or bookmark site links · Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites · Using automated programs or services to create links to your site How is a big media network able to publicly discuss something like "SEO Bombs" and have tactics like described above - and still float above any manual penalty?


06/18/2014 07:34 am

Last night another update...

loanshark (wanna-be)

06/18/2014 09:28 am

how do you figure that ?

Simon Nyström

06/18/2014 10:49 am

Confirmed. I own Smslå in Sweden which has been #1 for some months for the most competitive terms "smslån". It has been a stable top site for more than a year and it was totally wiped yesterday. I am trying to understand what really happened because actually it is a website which is probably the most "respected" site in the business, just because I decided to work very transparently and actually following the Google guidelines. This means I don't buy links and don't use any link networks. My website stands out greatly compared to the "average payday loan spam site". I flash my name and company, always , and have actually also created natural links in an impossible niche. My site has created some buzz as I actually took stance against spam and helped Google realizing the problems with this post: And know I get wiped? Wtf? This is how I work and what I usually believe in as it creates both a good site and make it way more fun to work: Could it be something silly that I try to add some humor?! I'm talking about the header picture in my blog and the picture in the blog post? That I know SEO? I am focusing mostly on on page SEO and market myself. Does Google expect that you should be smart enough to create great webistes but not smart enough to add some onpage SEO? I have been attacked agressively with negative SEO and have 4000 domain links in my disavow file. Could that be the problem? Until this is solved I guess at least many people in Sween will have their oppinion that the payday loan algorithm in Sweden is broken. My site is truly unique in the business and I have worked full time with it for more than 1,5 years. compare itäs engagement and content with any site, especially affiliate ones and you will notice the difference. I will write a post about this. Btw. Nice irony in this one: Yesterday I wrote a guest post in one of the bigger SEO blogs in Sweden. It is a helpful post, solely, which are learning people how to estimate search traffic changes over year for different niches. I was not hunting links but try to market myself and am quite proud of what I have accomplished with Smslå so I tell people about my blog and the project in the end of the article if they want to read more . I didn't even put any links in it, which is actually quite a proof that I am not a link spammer. Oh, the irony that I got wiped the same day. Lesson: don't write guest posts without links in it. Here it is:


06/18/2014 11:31 am

Now you are dispensing your brand of awful advice fueled by a refusal to learn in real life? Fantastic.

Yo Mamma

06/18/2014 11:36 am

I won't and will encourage others, to no longer fly VIRGIN because it now uses G$$gle ass, I mean glass, with its 'customer service' G$$gle has terrible search results and is uncool - Those that adopt it as a partner instantly become uncool


06/18/2014 11:52 am

i can understand your pain , my two sites got tanked and one left with half traffic yesterday morning . Google is getting crazy nowadays, never been into spammy backlinking stuff and now i have planned to enter into spamming business as i know thats the way to go as i see lots of serps which popupped up by doing spam!

Simon Nyström

06/18/2014 12:27 pm

Don't know if I am interested in going that way but I get your point because extreme spam has been very popular in the results latest year even though they cleaned up very good lately for the top generics.

Simon Nyström

06/18/2014 02:21 pm

I wrote a post about what happened and why it is ridicilous:

Simon Nyström

06/18/2014 02:21 pm

It totally wiped me for ALL keywprds (and I was a #1 ranker). Is it the payday loan algorithm or Panda? Whatever happened it is very strange and you realize why if you read my post: No messages in webmaster tools by the way. I am hoping I messed things up myself but I just can understand how it is even possible even though I have located some issues on site.


06/18/2014 04:37 pm

Aren't you the snitch that bitched to Google about the payday loan serps? Oh the irony.

Simon Nyström

06/18/2014 05:16 pm

Gareth, I am your father.

Simon Nyström

06/21/2014 06:41 pm

I have an open reinclusion request case study here:

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