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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