May 21, 2014 | Sarah Danks

Yesterday Google released a(nother) algorithm into the wild www. This one’s called the “Payday Loan Algorithm” and it evidently weeds out content returned via “very spammy queries.” It’s not technically a new algorithm; this one came to fruition last year — there’s a video from May 2013 wherein Matt Cutts describes it — but it seems Google has honed PayDay Loan’s efficacy to target “very spammy queries.”

That sounds great — who hasn’t run into spam on the web and wished it would get itself to a nunnery? — and a noble gesture on Google’s part, but I couldn’t help but wonder (read in Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice à la Sex And The City), “What IS a “very spammy query,” anyway?

I can only surmise that Google wants to focus on “very spammy queries” because said searches lead to “very spammy content.” Okay. So that’s easy enough — but can we get a couple of examples?

During my research into this I ran across Google’s own blog post about spammy content (from 2011, mind you). I mean, I get it, web spam is where people basically keyword-stuff their websites and engage in any other “black hat” tactics to cheat their way to higher rankings (God, I hate that word). Sadly, however, in this blog post Google mentions one of their definitions of “spam:”

“…sites with low levels of original content.”

Um. Okay. Again, I get it — don’t just spew forth keyboard vomit onto a site; put some thought into it. That being said, ever heard of the old adage “there are no original ideas”? Someone has an idea, they put it on the web; halfway across the country someone ELSE has the same idea and posts THEIR content. Then all of a sudden both sets of content get read by a google of people who in turn start blogging/posting/Tweeting about it, etc. etc. etc. Pretty soon it’s not original anymore; it’s old-hat stuff. But even though it was good content, it’s all of a sudden over-done and all the blog posts spawned off the original idea are now considered “content spam.” Or are they?

Well, according to SEO Theory, content spam is:

“Regardless of what your intentions are your content is spammy if it’s not saying anything new or structurally distinct from what has already been published. “

Seems pretty harsh. And, frankly, dead wrong. The Internet is full of content that’s unoriginal — i.e., stated in a different way, from a unique perspective, etc. Is it, therefore, spam if you write about something that’s already been written about on the web? I really hope not. Because there’s probably someone out there right now writing a blog post about this very topic. Whoa.

It’ll be interesting to see what content gets affected by Google’s Get Rid of Very Spammy Stuff Algorithm.




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