SEO watchers played the role of detective last month as Google rolled out several updates. The cloak and dagger act is in line with the company’s new policy of not announcing new updates, but is pretty frustrating for SEOs.

June 2013 also saw snippets of SEO news from Google competitors Bing and Duck-Duck-Go. And, as always, Webspam Chief Matt Cutts weighed in on hot SEO topics via Twitter and video.

Here’s the SEO news you need to know from the last 30 days.

Spammy Queries/Payday Loans

UK-based payday loan sites were the main target of an early June update that’s being referred to as both as the Spammy Queries and Payday Loans update.

Though UK-based sites seemed to take the brunt of the pain on this one, which only impact 0.3% of English language queries. Cutts said that the updated also targeted pornographic websites. (Adult sites were hit hard by the last Penguin update,too.)

Most gambling affiliates weren’t impacted by the Spammy Queries update or, for that matter, Penguin 2.o.

Multi-Pronged Mystery Update

Google’s hive mind seems to take special delight in tormenting web publishers by rolling out a several, mysterious updates all at once. Matt Cutts confirmed the existence of a multi-week rollout that should end on the 4th of July, but didn’t give up much beyond that.

SEO experts are still debating whether this was a Spammy Queries update, Panda refresh, or something else entirely. As it stands today, no one is really sure.

There Are Other Search Engines

Bing and Duck-Duck-Go are a long way from toppling Google’s search engine dominance, but both upstarts did make SEO news last month.

Bolstered by news of extensive US Internet surveillance, Duck-Duck-Go went over the 2 million daily search mark for the first time in its short history. They’re now just 998,000,000 daily searches behind Google.

Bing, which now commands 17% of the US search market, made its back office a little more appealing with the introduction of a new change history tool. It’s a small, but overdue, upgrade that Bing advertisers have been requesting for some time.

Cutts Clear the Air

We know Matt Cutts’ heart is in the right place but, sometimes, his advice to SEOs isn’t exactly helpful. Take his recent video designed to clear the air about common SEO misconceptions.

Web publishers need hard and fast advice for staying on track, not detailed explanations of the difference between a refresh and an update. These differences really don’t mean much to someone whose sites (and revenue) have just dropped off the cliff thanks to the latest mystery update (or refresh).

Did you feel the impact of any of these SEO stories last month? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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