This update is a Google Spam Algorithm update, and its purpose is to tackle spam websites and queries that appear on search result pages.
Google refer to this algorithm as the Google Spam Algorithm 2.0, but it also has also been nicknamed the ‘Payday Loan Algorithm’ for the noticeable use of the phrase “Payday Loan” in the description for the update.
Google’s official announcement of this update:
“Over the weekend we began rolling out a new algorithmic update. The update was neither Panda nor Penguin — it was the next generation of the algorithm that originally rolled out last summer for very spammy queries.”
Google also stated that the update is distributed simultaneously in all of Google’s versions worldwide, and that it impacts each language differently, but according to their estimation will impact about 0.2% of queries in English. The previous update impacted about 0.3% of English queries but the impact was much more noticeable in other languages.
A few weeks following the update Google mentioned that it mainly penalizes websites that employ spam tactics, and will address the issue of websites that were harmed by negative SEO (a tactic that is used to harm a website’s rankings in search engines).
According to Google’s initial statement regarding the first version of this update – the update mainly checks for problematic link schemes, so if you were affected by this update you might want to look into your website’s link profile.
Some of the changes that Google are trying to implement with this algorithm include the devaluation of problematic links so as to prevent them from aiding (or harming) your website.