VerticalResponse Blog

Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts recently announced two new Google algorithm updates that could affect your business. For SEO pros, updates to Google’s algorithms are commonplace, but for the busy small business owner, they can be a confusing mess of black and white animals (penguin, panda). Have no fear, we’ve broken down the announcements into layman’s terms. Now, let’s get down to business!

Update #1: Payday Loan 2.0

This is the second version of the Payday Loan Algorithm, and it takes action towards websites that contain spammy keywords like, “payday loans,” adult themed/pornographic keywords and other spammy keywords. Odds are, you won’t be affected by this update because it only impacted 0.2% of English queries. 

Update #2: Panda 4.0

This latest update is big news in the SEO world, as there hasn’t been an announced Panda update in over a year. There are monthly unannounced data refreshes to Panda, but Panda 4.0 is a major update to the actual algorithm. Just as a reminder, the Panda Algorithm is designed to prevent websites with poor quality content from appearing at the top of Google’s search results. According to Cutts, this update impacts around 7.5% of English searches and will fully roll out over the next few days. 

If your site has thin, similar, duplicate content, and/or any “SEO pages” you’re at a high risk for getting a penalty in this and future Panda updates. If you have duplicate content on your site, we recommend adding more value to it. No two pages should have similar content, but if they do, combine the pages into one high value page. It’s possible that you might have “trim the fat” so to speak and cut pages from your website.

Cool Tool: If you’re worried that your site might be impacted by the latest Panda update, or any Google update for that matter, try using the Panguin Tool, which links up to your Google Analytics account and overlays all known Google Updates. It can be very useful for identifying what update hit your site or not. 

So there’s the low down on the two most recent Google updates. Do you plan to make any changes to your site as a result? If so, share in the comments. 

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  • Chipper Nicodemus


    Thanks for the comment. It is tough for small businesses to wrestle with the bigger players, but I would suggest take the “fight” to the local markets. For example try getting some good Yelp and Google Local reviews, which will help you in the localized results which is where your customers are searching! Best of luck and thanks for reading.


  • Thomas (The Construction Contractor)

    No doubt that there are a lot of “spammy” sites out there. These guys will always be one step ahead of small business owners who are trying to rank unless you have a ton of original content and people linking to your site – and most do not.

  • Chipper Nicodemus

    Hi Adoan,

    Thanks for reading. It is very possible you may not even need a solution as this update only hit ~7.5% of search results. Unless you saw a big drop in traffic or rankings I would say you have nothing to worry about.


  • Chipper Nicodemus

    Hey Arun,

    Yes Matt Cutts confirmed that this update lays the ground work for the update that will help out small businesses. Keep up with the great content!


  • Arun@DigitalVani

    Hope this updates will help the small business that are having a hard time in ranking though they have really good content.

    What do you think Chipper?

  • Adoan Jackson

    Can you please guide us a easy solution about this update…

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