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Google Payday Loan search update to target spammy queries

     
3:36 am on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Matt Cutts: We just started a new ranking update today for some spammy queries. See 2:30-3:10 of this video: [goo.gl...] #smx
[youtube.com...]
Google has officially launched a new search update to target “spammy queries” such as payday loan, #*$!ographic and other heavily spammed queries.


Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, announced this on Twitter saying “We just started a new ranking update today for some spammy queries.” He pointed to the video he published where he talked about upcoming Google SEO changes.

Our summary then was:

While queries that tend to be spammy in nature, such as [pay day loans] or some #*$!ographic related queries, were somewhat less likely to be a target for Google’s search spam team – Matt Cutts said Google is more likely to look at this area in the near future. He made it sound like these requests are coming from outside of Google and thus Google wants to address those concerns with these types of queries.

[searchengineland.com...]
10:38 am on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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MC just tweeted :
it's a multifaceted rollout that will be happening over the next 1-2 months. [twitter.com...]
11:06 am on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So it looks like they're going to hard-code SERPs for a dozen of searches :)
11:20 am on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There's nothing good behind the scenes if that's the solution.

IMHO: Speaking a dev for 30+ years, any algorithm (or set of) that requires manual interaction at that context level (high) at the level that google is playing (millions of serps, millions of data nodes) is very poor indicator of 'target reliability'

With the data in flow at that level, you'd expect the algo to work better (if designed on a solid principle)
11:31 am on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So it looks like they're going to hard-code SERPs for a dozen of searches :)


Well they've failed for years with these (and many other SERPs) - currently I see two hacked sites on google.com for the "v-word" drug. No message from Google that these sites may be compromised, but clearly compromised, and ranking in the top 10. A high likelihood that such sites will also carry a virus or two as well. So yeah, maybe they might as well hardcode these results since the algo is nothing but a blindman judging a beauty competition, relying on hearsay from other sources.
11:45 am on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Actually, I've just shown the results to a colleague and the results are changing each refresh so it would be ungenerous of me to comment on them while they are still in flux. I report back later when they've settled.

[edited by: Savanadry at 12:01 pm (utc) on Jun 12, 2013]

11:51 am on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Is Bing doing any better?
11:53 am on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Savanadry - but MC say's it will take 1-2 months to flow through. Gotta give it a chance to settle in.
12:04 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@ Whitey, Yes, I've just realised that and edited my comment. Too soon to tell I think. (I was commenting on the results for 'online casinos' for anyone else reading).

@ hitchhiker I don't usually check Bing for this, I've no real interest in that niche, it's just I've used those keywords for years as a 'test' query. Just checked Bing and they do look much better.
12:25 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Heh. This makes it clear that the aglo + Panda + Penguin is unable to produce quality results. A sort of algorithmic white flag. Google surrenders the SERPS, and manually controls the money terms.
1:26 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Heh. This makes it clear that the aglo + Panda + Penguin is unable to produce quality results. A sort of algorithmic white flag. Google surrenders the SERPS, and manually controls the money terms.


Agreed. Nothing screams failure like "We have to do it by hand"...true in any situation :)

I wonder, however, if they realize that by doing this, all their Panda/Penguin/500-updates-yearly were for nothing. That's the most clear admission of failure I have seen Google make over the years.
1:33 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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A sort of algorithmic white flag. Google surrenders the SERPS, and manually controls the money terms.

@rish3 - I think you need to be specific. Google has to be transparent in it's financial filings, and has been open about the Panda update hitting their earnings, for the benefit of the long term user experience. But this is off topic / OT.

How does what you say relate to the OP?
8:10 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If they can put up a search-results message saying "When you said 'algorithm' did you mean 'rhythmic gymnastics'?" surely they can put up a message saying "On average, 50% of the results on this page will be junk, but we can't say decisively which ones because we're only the dominant search engine on the planet so what do we know".
8:12 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The other side of the coin, so to speak, is for G to ask themselves why some of the sites on page 1 when I search 'payday loans' ( google uk) are hacked sites ie sites that have nothing to do with payday loans but just have a link to a loans site.

Surely this tells them that the brand / authority setting is too high in the algorithm, if a reputable site need only mention a word to get on page 1. Best user experience? I doubt it.

It also suggests they are much less efficient at identifying bad backlinks than they might suggest. Funny thing is, I would have guessed that if my non-financial site linked to 'payday loans' I would have been hit by penguin, but perhaps I've misunderstood the guidelines...
8:30 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@rish3 - I think you need to be specific. Google has to be transparent in it's financial filings, and has been open about the Panda update hitting their earnings, for the benefit of the long term user experience. But this is off topic / OT.

How does what you say relate to the OP?


Uh, it's directly related to the OP. The OP says, paraphrased, "we're making an update specifically to address highly spammed terms".

Highly spammed terms are "money terms". Meaning terms with a large payoff.

Throwing your own question back to you, what does this

Google has to be transparent in it's financial filings


Have to do with the OP? There's nothing in the OP about Google financial results and/or fiduciary duty.
10:39 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Have to do with the OP? There's nothing in the OP about Google financial results and/or fiduciary duty.

@rish3 - it doesn't. Misinterpretation of your post and OT drift.
10:44 pm on June 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Good luck to them, Google may have some of the finest minds on-board, but the same can be said of those people ranking for the money terms. If they get hit they'll adapt and re-conquer.
1:21 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Well this seems to be going well - currently No.4 in google UK serps for 'payday loans' is

paydayloansfrommrcutts.blog.co.uk

hehe :)
1:33 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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LEGEN ... search for it ... DARY :D

You are a king among men; whoever did this deserves our perpetual appreciation.
3:32 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hahaha

Never seen anything more "in your face", epic. And ranking through nofollow spam comments, too. This should be made sticky!
5:24 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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So it looks like they're going to hard-code SERPs for a dozen of searches :)

any algorithm (or set of) that requires manual interaction at that context level (high) at the level that google is playing (millions of serps, millions of data nodes) is very poor indicator of 'target reliability'

Google surrenders the SERPS, and manually controls the money terms.

Agreed. Nothing screams failure like "We have to do it by hand"...true in any situation :)

Okay, I've listened and read but can't find any reference to this being manual. A bit of help, please.
5:32 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In programming, people generally use a configuration file which is basically a text file. This is how stop words etc. are normally specified. The program reads and uses this configuration file in its programming logic. This is neither considered a manual or a hard coded stuff. It is still considered to be algorithmic and automated.
5:42 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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>paydayloansfrommrcutts.blog.co.uk

#3 now.

Good to see 'branding' working well ;o)

[edited by: brotherhood_of_LAN at 5:43 pm (utc) on Jun 17, 2013]

5:42 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Um, this seems like a great example of the complete failure of Panda and Penquin. What happened to all the great AI and machine learning.

If you have to keep 'patching' over and over again, whether using a config or other method, it shows there is a fatal flaw somewhere in the whole [ insert word for fantastic, great leap forward, antispam or PR spin here ] system.

All seems to been a waste of two years.
5:46 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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>paydayloansfrommrcutts.blog.co.uk
#2 for me :)
5:57 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@jimbeetle
Okay, I've listened and read but can't find any reference to this being manual. A bit of help, please.


The direct quote from Matt's twitter account was "We just started a new ranking update today for some spammy queries. See 2:30-3:10 of this video".

Speaking for myself, I'm reading "Some Spammy Queries" as a manually selected list, which gets treated differently than everything else. Watching the portion of the video he refers to reinforces that thought for me. He's vague enough, however, that there's room for different interpretations.
6:28 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Speaking for myself, I'm reading "Some Spammy Queries" as a manually selected list, which gets treated differently than everything else


If that's the case though, it refers to the search terms, not the results. And I suspect it's just a generic catch-all that people are reading too much into.

There are several verticals where all the main search phrases produce "spammy" looking results becase a) there's big money to be made and b) you can still dupe Google with a ton of links and scraped content. You only need top spots for a short time to make a killing so it's one big merry-go-round.

Until Google can work out how to spot authority without links and things that can be easily manipulated, these verticals will always be a target for grey/black hat tactics. Hmmm... maybe hard-coding the results *is* the answer ;)

[edited by: Simsi at 7:05 pm (utc) on Jun 17, 2013]

6:51 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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maybe hard-coding the results *is* the answer


It's not, if it were we'd just use DMOZ. Bing are doing much better.
7:06 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It's not, if it were we'd just use DMOZ. Bing are doing much better.


I know...hence the wink ;) However if Google wants those niches to deliver quality results it has to do something pretty drastic IMO.
7:25 pm on June 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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>paydayloansfrommrcutts.blog.co.uk
seems to have um ... well.. disappeared ! Replaced by two , no, three, similar :) Game of the day can you spot the odd ones out ?


Simsi they just need to say no - this is not working very well, lets start again from pre panda and pre penquin. They might do it but they will not say that - it will be a "another leap forward for search engine technology" ( or just licence Bing and add a few bits )
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